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“The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index registered 52.5, down from 53.0 in February and the lowest reading since June 2017,” the IHS Markit said in its U.S. Flash PMI report on Friday.

Key takeaways from the press release

  • Softer rises in output, new orders and employment all weighed on the headline PMI in March.
  • The latest expansion of production volumes was only modest and the least marked since June 2016.  
  • Services PMI  Business Activity Index posted 54.8 in March, down from February’s seven-month high of 56.0.
  • Mirroring the trend for business activity, March data indicated a softer rise in new work received by service providers.

“Commenting on the flash PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit said: “US businesses reported a softer end to the first quarter, with output growth easing to the second lowest recorded over the last year. The PMI survey data nevertheless remain encouragingly resilient, indicative of the economy growing at an annualised rate in excess of 2% in the first quarter, suggesting some potential upside to many current growth forecasts.”