New orders and production levels continue to drive the manufacturing industry's growth as they reached new highs in February. As a result, the Institute for Supply Management's purchasing manufacturers' index (PMI) jumped another 1.7 percentage points in February to 57.7%.
The new orders index had a huge growth of 4.7 percentage points to 65.1%, the third straight month that index was above 60%. The production index jumped 1.5 percentage points to 62.9%. The only down note was the employment index dropping 1.9 percentage points to 54.2%. Overall, though, the manufacturing industry looks very busy and strong with 17 of the 18 industries reporting growth in February.
"Comments from the panel largely indicate strong sales and demand, and reflect a positive view of business conditions with a watchful eye on commodities and the potential for inflation," said Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing business survey committee.
Among the comments from committee members were:
While the PMI has been above the growth level of 50% for 10 of the last 11 months, the February reading of 57.7% marked the sixth consecutive month of growth, and the fifth straight month growth rate exceeded 1.0 percentage points.
Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra(at)cfemedia.com.