The Southeast Michigan Purchasing Managers Index jumped 8.3 points in March to a post-recession peak of 71.8. The index has been above 50 for 14 consecutive months — the threshold for indicating an economic expansion.
The index has risen 16.3 points or 29.4 percent since January.
“Production, new order activity and employment were up by over 10 points in March, all pointing to a continuation of economic growth,” said Nitin Paranjpe, an economist and supply-chain faculty member at Wayne State Unviersity’s business school, which compiles the index.
The employment number was 70, indicating a sustained jobs recovery.
Another good sign for future expansion is that inventories of both raw materials and finished goods were down sharply in March. Raw materials went from an index level of 66.7 to 53.3, with finished inventories slipping from 54.5 to 48.3.
Only 13.3 percent of responding purchasing managers think the economy will be less stable in the months ahead.
By Tom Henderson, Crain’s Detroit