The latest Manufacturing Institute of Supply Manager's Report On Business registered 53.4 percent, climbing above February, when the index was at 52.4 percent.
With numbers above 50 indicating expansion, new orders for U.S. manufacturers expanded for the 35th consecutive month. The New Orders Index in March was 54.5 percent, slightly below the 54.9 percent reading for February.
The Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee said in a release that the Production Index gained speed, climbing from 55.3 percent to 58.3 percent.
The Employment Index has stayed above 50 for 30 consecutive months and, again, picked up the pace, as the index rose from 53.2 percent to 56.1 percent.
In March, 15 of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth. Apparel, leather and allied products registered the most growth, followed by non-metallic mineral products, petroleum and coal products, and paper products.