U.S. manufacturing output continues upward trend

The Institute for Supply Management reports that its Purchasing Managers Index, a measure of manufacturing activity, is 61.4 percent, the highest it's been since May 2004.

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 2011 for the 19th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 21st consecutive month. ISM's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 61.4 percent, following a January value of 60.8 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 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.”

12-month ISM Manufacturing Index history (percent):

  • February 2011: 61.4
  • January 2011: 60.8
  • December 2010: 57.0
  • November 2010: 56.6
  • October 2010: 56.9
  • September 2010: 54.4
  • August 2010: 56.3
  • July 2010: 55.5
  • June 2010: 56.2
  • May 2010: 59.7
  • April 2010: 60.4
  • March 2010: 59.6