Manufacturing shows strong performance in February
In its Manufacturing Report on Business, the ISM noted that the PMI, the report’s key metric, came in at 60.8 in February (a reading of 50 or higher indicates growth). This topped January’s 59.1 reading by 1.7%, and it represents the 18th consecutive month of PMI growth.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported today that manufacturing activity had another strong month in February.
Summary findings of its Manufacturing Report on Business include:
- The PMI, the report’s key metric, came in at 60.8 in February (a reading of 50 or higher indicates growth). This topped January’s 59.1 reading by 1.7%, and it represents the 18th consecutive month of PMI growth
- The February PMI is 2.8% ahead of the 12-month average of 58.0, and ahead of the rolling three-month average of 59.7
- This is the highest PMI reading since the 61.4 recorded in May 2004
- 15 of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in February, including: Printing & Related Support Activities; Primary Metals; Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Transportation Equipment; Textile Mills; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Paper Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. Two industries reported contraction during the period: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; and Furniture & Related Products
- New orders, the engine that drives manufacturing, fell 1.2% off of January’s 65.4 to 64.2, while remaining in growth mode for the 26th straight month, along with 15 of 18 manufacturing sectors growing for the month
- Production was off 2.5% to 62.0, down from a strong 64.5 in January and still growing for the 18th month in a row
- Employment had a very strong month, rising 5.5% to 59.7 and growing for the 17th consecutive month
- Inventories rose 4.4% to 56.7, showing growth for the second straight month
IHS Markit U.S. Economist Michael Montgomery wrote in a research note that “manufacturing is on fire around the world,” saying this strength is reflected in an ISM export orders reading of 62.8 and an import reading of 60.5.