The Institute for Supply Management released its Chicago purchasing managers' index on Thursday. The Chicago purchasing managers' index climbed to 53.6 in March from 47.6 in February, exceeding expectations for an increase to 50.0.
A reading above the 50 mark indicates expansion, a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
The increase was mainly driven by rises in production and employment. The production index rose to 53.7 in March from 44.0 in February, while the employment index climbed to 52.8 from 45.2.
New orders were up to 55.6 in March from 51.7 in February.
"The most significant result from the March survey is the pick-up in the Employment component which has remained weak for much of the past year. Looking through some of the recent volatility, the data are consistent with steady, not spectacular, economic growth in the US," Chief Economist of MNI Indicators Philip Uglow said.