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: