U.S. manufacturing activity contracted in March for the fourth straight month, dropping to its lowest level in nearly three years amid a sharp pullback in demand.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said in an April 3 report that its Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 46.3 last month compared to 47.7 percent in February. Readings below 50 represent contraction.
Last month’s Manufacturing PMI reading was the lowest since May 2020, when the gauge registered 43.5 percent.
“Regarding the overall economy, this figure indicates a fourth month of contraction after a 30-month period of expansion,” Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM’s Manufacturing Busine …