Thursday, March 1, 2012

U.S. Manufacturing Growth Slowed in February

Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector unexpectedly slowed in February, after three consecutive monthly increases. The index fell from 54.1 to 52.4 in February, reversing around half of the gains of the previous three months. However, the decline in February does not raise any immediate concerns as the details of the report are not horrible. The ISM manufacturing index has remained above its expansionary threshold for 31 straight months.

New orders led the decline, falling to 54.9 from 57.6. The decline in new orders should be interpreted carefully as new orders have recently been unstable.

Production and employment both declined in February to 55.3 and 53.2 respectively. February is the third consecutive decline in the employment index.

The inventories index remained constant at 49.5, below the contrationary level for the fifth consecutive month.

Exports orders continue to rise despite turmoil in Europe, climbing from 55.0 to 59.5 in February.

Read the full report.

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