ISM Index at Highest Level in Nearly Seven Years

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the 19th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 21st consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “February’s report from the manufacturing sector indicates continuing strong performance as the PMI registered 61.4 percent, a level last achieved in May 2004. New orders and production, driven by strength in exports in particular, continue to drive the composite index (PMI). New orders are growing significantly faster than inventories, and the Customers’ Inventories Index indicates supply chain inventories will require continuing replenishment. The Employment Index is above 60 percent for only the third time in the last decade. While there are many positive indicators, there is also concern as industries related to housing continue to struggle and the Prices Index indicates significant inflation of raw material costs across many commodities.”

PERFORMANCE BY INDUSTRY

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 are reporting growth in February, in the following order: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Transportation Equipment; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Machinery; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Textile Mills; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Paper Products; Wood Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. The four industries reporting contraction in February are: Plastics & Rubber Products; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Furniture & Related Products.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING …

* “A continued weak dollar is increasing the cost of components purchased overseas. It is going to force us to increase our selling prices to our customers.” (Transportation Equipment)
> “We continue to see significant inflation across nearly every type of chemical raw material we purchase.” (Chemical Products)
> “Our plants are working 24/7 to meet production demands.” (Fabricated Metal Products)
> “Prices continue to rise, while business limps along at last year’s pace.” (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)
> “Overall demand is off 10 percent.” (Plastics & Rubber Products)

Link to full report and statistics on the ISM website

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