The latest reading on business activity in Chicago was stronger than expected.
The MNI Indicators/ISM purchasing manager’s index rebounded from contraction to 53.6 for March.
Economists had estimated that the business barometer rose to 50.7 from 47.6 in the prior month, according to Bloomberg.
A sharp rise in production boosted the barometer. New orders and order backlogs also posted strong gains.
Oil prices rallied about 11% in March, and this also helped.
This reading comes ahead of the national ISM manufacturing PMI for March on Friday. This reading from Chicago is consistent with other regional reports that indicate the sector’s performance improved during the month.
MNI Indicators chief economist Phillip Uglow said in the release, “The most significant result from the March survey is the pick-up in the Employment component which has remained weak for much of the past year. Looking through some of the recent volatility, the data are consistent with steady, not spectacular, economic growth in the US.”