March 5, 2014

PMI Jumps to 53.2 Percent in February

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector bounced back in February to show growth for the ninth consecutive month. February's PMI was 53.2 percent, 1.9 percentage points better than January, according to the latest Manufacturing Report on Business from the Tempe, Ariz.-based Institute for Supply Management. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries surveyed, purchasing managers from 14 reported growth in February, including fabricated metal products, primary metals and appliances and components. Among the three industries reporting contraction was miscellaneous manufacturing.

The February PMI indicates growth for the 57th consecutive month in the overall economy. "The PMI for January and February of 52.3 percent corresponds to a 3 percent increase in real gross domestic product on an annualized basis," says Bradley Holcomb, chairman of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "In addition, if the PMI for February is annualized, it corresponds to a 3.3 percent increase in real GDP annually."

The New Orders Index registered 54.5 percent, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from January, while the Production Index fell 6.6 percentage points to 48.2 percent. Inventories of raw materials grew 8.5 percentage points to 52.5 percent. As was the case with January, the difficult winter weather conditions throughout most of North America likely played a role in some of the readings.

ISM's Employment Index registered 52.3 percent in February, the same as in January. It represented the eighth consecutive month of growth in employment in the manufacturing sector.

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