The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) — a well-regarded barometer of the U.S. industrial economy — rose slightly in February, marking the index’s first increase since August.
The February PMI mark of 47.7% is up from January’s 47.4%, which bottomed out as the index’s lowest value since it registered at 43.5% in May 2020, the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. February’s PMI reading, however, remains in contraction territory for the fourth consecutive month. A November PMI mark of 49 snapped 29 straight months of expansion (any reading of 50.0 or higher).
“With Business Survey Committee panelists reporting softening new order rates over the previous nine months, the February composite index reading reflects companies continuing to slow outputs to better match demand for the first half of 2023 and prepare for growth in the second half of the year,” ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee chair Timothy Fiore said in a news release.
|Month||Manufacturing PMI||Month||Manufacturing PMI|
|Feb 2023||47.7||Aug 2022||52.9|
|Jan 2023||47.4||July 2022||52.7|
|Dec 2022||48.4||June 2022||53.1|
|Nov 2022||49.0||May 2022||56.1|
|Oct 2022||50.0||April 2022||55.9|
|Sept 2022||51.0||March 2022||57.0|
|Average for last 12 months – 51.8; High – 57.0; Low – 47.4|
ISM noted that, of the six biggest manufacturing industries, two – transportation equipment and petroleum & coal products – registered growth in February. Of the 18 industries ISM tracks, only two others – apparel, leather & allied products and electrical equipment, appliances & components – reported growth. 14 industries reported contraction in February.
“New order rates remain sluggish due to buyer and supplier disagreements regarding price levels and delivery lead times; the index increase suggests progress in February,” Fiore said. “Panelists’ companies continue to attempt to maintain head-count levels through the projected slow first half of the year in preparation for a stronger performance in the second half.”