U.S. manufacturing activity contracted less than expected in March, but disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic pushed new orders received by factories to an 11-year low, reinforcing economists' views that the economy was in recession.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Wednesday its index of national factory activity fell to a reading of 49.1 last month from 50.1 in February. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index dropping to 45.0 in March.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector, which accounts for 11% of the U.S. economy. The smaller-than-expected drop in the ISM index reflected a rise in the survey's measure of supplier deliveries to a reading of 65.0 this month from 57.3 in February.
Source : Reuters