Activity in the manufacturing sector contracted for the fourteenth consecutive month in March, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Wednesday, although the pace of contraction slowed compared to the previous month.

The ISM said its index of activity in the manufacturing sector edged up to 36.3 in March from 35.8 in February, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in the sector. Economists had been expecting the index to come in at 36.0.

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