4/5: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

March planned job cuts rose 21 percent from February but mostly flat year-on-year

U.S.-based employers announced plans to cut 60,587 jobs from their payrolls in March, down 21% from February but nearly unchanged year-on-year.  However, overall first quarter cuts totaled 190,410, 10.3% higher the final quarter of 2018, 35.6% higher than the same quarter last year, and the highest quarterly total since Q3 2015.



March manufacturing sector index improved 1.1 points to 55.3

The March PMI® registered 55.3 percent (over 50 means expansion), an increase of 1.1 percentage points from the February reading of 54.2 percent. Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength, supported by gains in new orders and employment.



March service sector index fell 3.6 points to 56.1

The NMI® registered 56.1 percent (over 50 means expansion), which is 3.6 percentage points lower than the February reading of 59.7 percent. Respondents remain mostly optimistic about overall business conditions and the economy, but still have underlying concerns about employment resources and capacity constraints.