Manufacturing Sector Expanded in February

The ISM Manufacturing Index registered 57.7 points in February, up 1.7 points from the previous month and the highest reading since August 2014, according to the Institute for Supply Management. February’s reading indicates a sixth consecutive month of expansion in manufacturing, as readings over 50 points denote expansion. Of the eighteen manufacturing industries, seventeen reported growth while only one reported contraction.

The Employment Index declined 1.9 points to 54.2 in February, indicating expansion for the fifth consecutive month. Ten industries reported expansion, while five reported a decrease in employment.

The New Orders Index increased 4.7 points to 65.1 in February, indicating growth for the sixth consecutive month. Sixteen industries reported increases in new orders while none reported decreases.

Export orders increased 0.5 point to 55.0, indicating growth for the twelfth consecutive month. Six industries reported growth while only one of the eighteen reported a decrease in new export orders.

The inventories index registered 51.5 points, indicating that raw materials inventories are growing for the first time after nineteen consecutive months of contraction.

Read the ISM release.