U.S Factory Sector Cools in March; Inflation Pressures Rise

U.S Factory Sector Cools in March; Inflation Pressures Rise

Data stateside this morning showed that U.S activity in the factory sector cooled last month, though a measure of prices for commodities rose quickly in a sign of rising inflation.

The ISM said its closely watched index of manufacturing activity fell to 59.3 in March from 60.8 in February. The market was expecting the index to fall to 59.8 m/m.

Note: In February, factory activity reached the highest level in 14-years.

Digging deeper, the report also showed that in March, an index of prices rose quickly to 78.1 from 74.2 m/m, while a measure of new orders fell to 61.9 from 64.2.

U.S Construction Spending Edges Up in February

Other data showed that spending on construction across the U.S rose slightly in February – more evidence of a weak start for building projects for this year.

Total U.S construction spending increased +0.1% m/m to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of +$1.27T in February – this comes on the back of a flat January reading.

Note: The market had expected a +0.5% gain in February.

Digging deeper, private construction was up +0.7%, public construction decreased -2.1% in February, dragged down by federal construction spending.

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