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The National Association of Purchasing Management released figures for March, showing economic contraction for an eighth straight month. The prices-paid index fell below 50 for the first time in 22 months.
The index came in stronger than expected, however, possibly reducing chances of another rate cut before the next scheduled Fed meeting. February's index measured 41.9, while March came in at 43.1, higher than the consensus expectation of 42.3. The line of demarcation between expansion and contraction is considered to be 42.7, so the new figures looks encouraging.<