Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in January for the second consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 44th consecutive month, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business issued Feb. 1 by the Institute for Supply Management. The report is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide, including purchasing, new orders, production, employment, and price indices.

The PMI (purchasing managers index) registered 53.1 percent, an increase of 2.9 percentage points from December's seasonally adjusted reading of 50.2 percent, indicating expansion in manufacturing for the second consecutive month.

The New Orders Index registered 53.3 percent, an increase of 3.6 percent over December's seasonally adjusted reading of 49.7 percent, indicating growth in new orders.

“Manufacturing is starting out the year on a positive note, with all five of the PMI's component indexes—new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories—registering above 50 percent in January," said Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, which issues the monthly report.

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Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 13 are reporting growth in January in the following order: Plastics & Rubber Products; Textile Mills; Furniture & Related Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Petroleum & Coal Products; Machinery; Primary Metals; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products.

The four industries reporting contraction in January are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Wood Products; and Chemical Products.
The next Manufacturing ISM Report On Business featuring February 2013 data will be released on March 1.

ISM Manufacturing Report