Economic activity in manufacturing expanded for the fourth month in a row in March, and the nation's economy expanded for the 46th month in a row, the Institute for Supply Management reports. However, the ISM index was down to 51.3 in March from 54.2 in February. "It is clear that manufacturing activity surged this winter, but now that spring has arrived, the reality that there are many headwinds this year is starting to constrain the pace of growth," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, MAPI's chief economist.

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