ISM Manufacturing Index Continued to Expand in February

Manufacturing activity expanded in February for the seventh consecutive month, but at a slower pace, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday. The ISM index fell to 56.5% in February, a decrease of 1.9 percentage points when compared to January’s  reading of 58.4%.

Despite the decline, a reading over 56% is consistent with strong growth in manufacturing and growth in the economy of about 4.9%, ISM said. Of the 18 manufacturing industries reporting, 11 posted growth including categories such as Machinery; Paper Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Computer & Electronic Products. Five sectors reported contraction including Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; Primary Metals; Printing & Related Support Activities; and Chemical Products.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING

  • “Depends on division, plant and market served.” (Transportation Equipment)
  • “Current economy has killed new capital sales.” (Machinery)
  • “Commodities are firming again.” (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • “First quarter orders up compared to prior two years!” (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • “…lead times for electronic parts are pushing out to 8 to 24 weeks.” (Computer & Electronic Products)

Breakdown by unit:

Table: ISM

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