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The Institute for Supply Management released its manufacturing purchasing managers' index for the U.S. on Friday. The index rose to 51.8 in March from 49.5 in February. Analysts had expected the index to increase to 50.7.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, below indicates contraction.
The increase was mainly driven by rises in production and new orders. The production index increased to 55.3 in March from 52.8 in February, while the new orders index jumped to 58.3 from 51.5.
The employment index was down to 48.1 in March from 48.5 in February.
The price index increased to 51.5 in March from 38.5 in February.