U.S. manufacturing index continues 2010 growth

Institute for Supply Management's Puchasing Managers Index registers 56.5 percent for February, the seventh straight month of expansion.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM, Tempe, Ariz., USA) on March 1 reported that economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in February for the seventh consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 10th consecutive month. ISM's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 56.5 percent, following a January value of 58.4 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The manufacturing sector grew for the seventh consecutive month during February. While new orders and production were not as strong as they were in January, they still show significant month-over-month growth. Additionally, the Employment Index is very encouraging, as it is up 2.8 percentage points for the month to 56.1 percent. This is the third consecutive month of growth in the Employment Index. With these levels of activity, manufacturers are seemingly willing to hire where they have orders to support higher employment.”