The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 53.4 percent, which is 1.2 percentage points lower than the reading of 54.6 percent reported in February, reflecting growth for the 56th consecutive month but at a slower rate.
The New Orders Index registered 53.4 percent, 2.1 percentage points higher than the reading of 51.3 percent registered in February. The Employment Index increased 6.1 percentage points to 53.6 percent from the February reading of 47.5 percent and indicates substantial growth after one month of contraction. The Prices Index increased 4.6 percentage points from the February reading of 53.7 percent to 58.3 percent, indicating prices increased at a faster rate in March when compared to February.
According to the NMI, 13 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in March. Despite the effects of weather on many of the respective businesses, the majority of respondents indicate that business conditions are improving. The respondents also project better business activity and economic conditions as weather conditions continue to improve.