March strong for GA manufacturing

Georgia followed up a big gain in manufacturing activity in February with more growth in March,…

Georgia (Apr 6, 2010)

Georgia followed up a big gain in manufacturing activity in February with more growth in March, according to the Econometric Center at Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business.
Georgia’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for March was 61.3 -- up 4.9 points from February. A PMI reading above 50 indicates that manufacturing activity is expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates it is contracting.
The March PMI is 7 points above the index’s six-month average, and is more in synch with the national PMI.
U.S. manufacturing in March grew at the fastest rate since mid-2004, according to the latest report from the Institute for Supply Management. The report shows the national PMI hit 59.6 percent last month, a more than 3 point jump from February.
The variables underlying the Georgia PMI -- new orders, production, employment, supply deliveries and finished inventory -- have improved dramatically in the first three months of the year.
Employment, which had remained weak for months, has started to show solid gains. Hiring has gained momentum, with employment up 5.1 points, to 59.7 points.
Though new orders slipped 3.9 points, to 61.3 points, they are still strong. Production showed the strongest gains, up by 16.5 points, to 72.6 points. Commodity prices rose 9.5 points, to 82.3 points, the highest reading since July 2008.
“We are finally seeing signs of solid growth in manufacturing,” said Don Sabbarese, professor of economics and director of the Econometric Center at the Coles College of Business. “Employers are starting to hire with more confidence, and their production is up. This may as well signal the beginning of manufacturing’s recovery after months of sluggishness, and we hope this continues over the next few months.”
In February, the PMI recorded its highest reading since April 2008. The March reading continued to ride on that trend, with the PMI now up 15.2 points for the first three months of 2010.


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