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Manufacturing Expands in February

The manufacturing sector expanded in February for the ninth consecutive month, according to supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.

The February Purchasing Managers Index registered 53.2 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from January's seasonally adjusted reading of 51.3 percent. The New Orders Index registered 54.5 percent, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from January's seasonally adjusted reading of 51.2 percent.

The Production Index registered 48.2 percent, a decrease of 6.6 percentage points compared to January's seasonally adjusted reading of 54.8 percent.

Inventories of raw materials decreased by 8.5 percentage points to 52.5 percent. A number of comments from the panel cited adverse weather conditions as a factor negatively impacting their businesses in February, while others commented on increasing demand for the month.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 reported growth in February in the following order: Textile Mills; Wood Products; Machinery; Printing & Related Support Activities; Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Transportation Equipment; Paper Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Primary Metals; and Chemical Products.

The three industries reporting contraction in February – listed in order – are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.

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