James Smith, Economist at ING explains that the increase in the ISM manufacturing index, coupled with the labor report “will give the FOMC some confidence about the direction of the economy”. Key Quotes: “After a fairly good payrolls report earlier today, with encouraging news on the wages front, the ISM manufacturing index provided another positive surprise. Having been below 50 since October last year (a level indicative of negative growth in the industry), the index posted a strong rebound back into positive territory (51.8 vs 49.5 in February), adding further weight to the idea that the industry may be turning a corner.” “The underlying details show that the new orders component rocketed, posting the strongest value since 2014. Much of this rise appears to be attributable to orders for exports, which is encouraging, given the concerns about the effects of weaker external demand on manufacturing.” “But taken as an aggregate, today’s US data is fairly encouraging and crucially, will give the data-dependent FOMC more confidence about the direction of the US economy." For more information, read our latest forex news.