The manufacturing sector expanded in February, according to supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The February PMI was 52.9 percent, 0.6 percentage points lower than January's 53.5 percent.
The New Orders Index registered 52.5 percent, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point from the reading of 52.9 percent in January. The Production Index registered 53.7 percent, 2.8 percentage points below the January reading of 56.5 percent.
The Employment Index registered 51.4 percent, 2.7 percentage points below the January reading of 54.1 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 52.5 percent, an increase of 1.5 percentage points above the January reading of 51 percent.
A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.
Comments from the panel express a growing level of concern over the West Coast dock slowdown, negatively impacting exports and imports and requiring workarounds and added costs," said Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey committee.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 12 are reporting growth in February in the following order: Paper Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Furniture & Related Products; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Chemical Products. The three industries reporting contraction in February are: Textile Mills; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; and Computer & Electronic Products.
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