The New Orders Index registered 58.3 percent, an increase of 6.8 percentage points from the February reading of 51.5 percent.
The Production Index registered 55.3 percent, 2.5 percentage points higher than the February reading of 52.8 percent.
The Employment Index registered 48.1 percent, 0.4 percentage point below the February reading of 48.5 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 47 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points above the February reading of 45 percent.
The Prices Index registered 51.5 percent, an increase of 13 percentage points above the February reading of 38.5 percent, indicating higher raw materials prices for the first time since October 2014.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 12 are reporting growth in March in the following order: Printing & Related Support Activities; Furniture & Related Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Machinery; Plastics & Rubber Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Paper Products; Primary Metals; and Computer & Electronic Products. The five industries reporting contraction in March are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; and Petroleum & Coal Products.