ISM ROB: New orders, production, employment all grew in February, but at slower rate than January

March 1, 2012

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the 31st consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 33rd consecutive month, said the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued March 1 by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The PMI registered 52.4 percent, a decrease of 1.7 percentage points from January's reading of 54.1 percent, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 31st consecutive month. The New Orders Index registered 54.9 percent, a decrease of 2.7 percentage points from January's reading of 57.6 percent, reflecting the 34th consecutive month of growth in new orders. Prices of raw materials increased for the second consecutive month, with the Prices Index registering 61.5 percent. As was the case in January, new orders, production and employment all grew in February — although at somewhat slower rates than in January. Comments from the panel continue to reflect a generally positive outlook for the next few months."

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 are reporting growth in February, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Machinery; Primary Metals; Transportation Equipment; Petroleum & Coal Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Chemical Products. The four industries reporting contraction in February are: Furniture & Related Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.

The full report can be found here.

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