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In The News:

Manufacturing Expands in February

Manufacturing expanded in February, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.

The manufacturing sector grew at a faster rate in February as the PMI registered 61.4 percent, a level last achieved in May 2004. New orders and production, driven by strength in exports, continued to be strong, and employment rose above 60 percent for the third time in the last decade.

"While there are many positive indicators, there is also concern as industries related to housing continue to struggle and the Prices Index indicates significant inflation of raw material costs across many commodities," says Norbert J. Ore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 are reporting growth in February, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Transportation Equipment; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Textile Mills; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Paper Products; Wood Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.

The four industries reporting contraction in February are: Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Furniture & Related Products.

For more detail, visit http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm.

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