Manufacturing report shows expansion for eighth consecutive month

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The latest manufacturing report released Thursday, April 1, shows expansion in March for the eighth consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management, which does a monthly survey of supply executives.

The good news mirrors what many in the trucking industry have said in recent weeks about increases in freight demand – and driver demand with it. ISM also says the overall economy grew for the 11th consecutive month.

“The rate of growth as indicated by the PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) is the fastest since July 2004,” says ISM’s Norbert J. Ore. Growth also was logged for new orders, employment and inventories.

“The Inventories Index provided a surprise, as it indicated growth for the first time following 46 months of liquidation — perhaps signaling manufacturers’ willingness to increase inventories based on expected levels of activity,” Ore says.