Manufacturing Sector Continued to Grow, Although at a Weak Pace, in February

The ISM Manufacturing Index registered 50.1 points in February, a decrease of 0.8 percentage point from the previous month, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Readings above 50 points denote expansion. The coronavirus was noted as a factor disrupting supply chains in February.

Of the eighteen manufacturing industries, fourteen reported growth in January, in the following order: Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Paper Products; Textile Mills; Primary Metals; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; and Chemical Products. The three industries reporting contraction in February — in the following order — are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Transportation Equipment; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

The Employment Index registered 46.9 percent, an increase of 0.3 percentage point from the January reading of 46.6 percent. This indicates contraction in February for the seventh month in a row. Of eighteen manufacturing industries, three reported employment growth in February. Nine industries reported a decrease in employment.

The New Orders Index registered 49.8 percent in February, a decrease of 2.2 percentage point from the January reading of 52 percent. This indicates that new orders contracted after growing in January. Sixteen industries reported expansion, while two reported a decrease in new orders.

The New Export Orders Index registered 51.2 percent in February, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points from the January reading of 53.3 percent, indicating that new export orders expanded for the second consecutive month.

The Inventories Index registered 46.5 percent in February, a decrease of 2.3 percentage points from the January reading of 48.8 percent. This indicates that inventories contracted for the ninth consecutive month.

Read the ISM release.