Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in February for the third consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 45th consecutive month, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business issued March 1 by the Institute for Supply Management. The report is based on data compiled from U.S. manufacturing purchasing and supply executives nationwide, including purchasing, new orders, production, employment, and price indices.

The ISM PMI (purchasing managers index) registered 54.2 percent, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from January's reading of 53.1 percent, indicating expansion in manufacturing for the third consecutive month. February's reading reflects the highest PMI since June 2011, when the index registered 55.8 percent.
The New Orders Index registered 57.8 percent, an increase of 4.5 percent over January's reading of 53.3 percent, indicating growth in U.S. manufacturing new orders for the second consecutive month.

“As was the case in January, all five of the PMI's component indexes—new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories—registered in positive territory in February, said Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, in an official announcement. “In addition, the Backlog of Orders, Exports and Imports Indexes all grew in February relative to January."

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Of the 18 U.S. manufacturing industries, 15 reported growth in February in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Paper Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Plastics & Rubber Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Transportation Equipment; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; and Primary Metals.

The three U.S. manufacturing industries reporting contraction in February are: Textile Mills; Computer & Electronic Products; and Chemical Products.

Manufacturing Report