February ISM ROB

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the 19th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 21st consecutive month, according to the February Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

The petroleum and coal products industry reported the second-highest growth in February out of 14 manufacturing industries.

The PMI registered 61.4 percent, the highest reading since May 2004. It was a less than 1 percent increase from January’s reading. This was the 21st consecutive month of growth in the economy and the 19th consecutive month of growth in the manufacturing industry. A PMI above 42.5 percent, over a period of time, indicates a growth in the economy.

The New Orders Index read 68 percent in February, the 20th consecutive month of growth reported and a slight increase from the previous month. The petroleum and coal products industry reported the second-highest increase in new orders out of 13.

The Production Index was 66.3 percent for February, almost 3 percentage points higher than January. This is the 21st consecutive month of the index measuring above 50 percent. Petroleum and coal products reported the second-highest growth in production out of 12 industries.

Employment in the manufacturing industry continues to increase with the Employment Index registering 64.5 percent for the month of February. The reading was just under 3 percentage points higher than January and the 17th consecutive month of growth in manufacturing employment. Out of 14 industries that reported growth in employment, the petroleum and coal products ranked second.

Suppliers were slow in deliveries to manufacturers in February. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 59.4 percent, the 21st consecutive month of slower deliveries.

After seven months of growth, the Inventories Index reflected a decline in manufacturers’ inventories. The index reported 48.8 percent, a drop of more than 3 percentage points from January. The petroleum and coal products industry reported the second-highest decrease in inventory.

Customers are also reporting lower inventories for February with the Customers Inventories Index registering 40 percent, 5.5 percentage points lower than January.

The Prices Index registered 82 percent, slightly higher than January’s number and the highest reading since July 2008. This is the 20th consecutive month the index registered above 50 percent. While 66 percent of respondents reported paying higher prices and 2 percent reported paying lower prices, 32 percent reported paying the same prices in February.

The Backlog of Orders Index registered 59 percent, 1 percentage point higher than January. Of the 82 percent of respondents who reported a backlog of orders, 31 percent reported greater backlogs, 13 percent reported smaller backlogs and 56 percent reported no change.

The New Export Orders Index registered 62.5 percent in February, an increase of less than 1 percentage point from January and the 20th consecutive month of growth. Petroleum and coal products industry reported the highest growth in new orders out of 12 industries.

Imports of manufacturing materials increased in February for the 18th consecutive month. The Import Index registered 55 percent, the same as January.

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