Ga. factories point to economic growth

ATLANTA — Georgia factories continue to drive growth in the overall state economy, according to a key indicator released Monday.


The Georgia Purchasing Managers’ Index for March stands at 60.7, off 0.3 points from February. A reading above 50 generally indicates expansion in the broader economy.

The state index is in sync with the Southeast index reading of 61, although that dropped 3 points. Both are more bullish than the national, which rose 1 point to 53.4.

The Econometric Center at Kennesaw State University compiles the Georgia and Southeast reports based on surveys of factory purchasing executives. Of those surveyed, 55 percent said they expect production to rise at their plants in the next three to six months, and only 50 percent held the same expectation in February. Those not predicting a rise called for continuation at the current level, and none forecast a decline.

New orders, production and supplier-delivery time all showed improvements while hiring and finished inventories marked minor decreases.

“March’s report adds another month of data to support a sustainable upward trend. The growing percent of respondents, 55 percent, expecting higher production in the next three-six months strengthens that view,” noted Don Sabbarese director of the Econometric Center and author of the report.