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Monday, March 2, 2015

ISM Manufacturing Index Reports Weak Growth

The ISM manufacturing index decreased 0.6 percentage point to 52.9 in February. Respondents cited concern over the West Coast dock slowdown, which negatively impacts exports and import, as well as increases costs. Index readings above 50 indicate expansion in the manufacturing economy. As of February, the index has been expanding for 26 consecutive months, although the pace has declined. Of the 18 manufacturing industries indexed, 12 reported growth in February.



The New Orders Index declined 0.4 percentage point to 52.5, but the Inventory Index increased 1.5 percentage points to 52.5. The gap between New Orders and Inventories—a proxy for future production—narrowed 1.9 points to zero.

The Employment Index decreased 2.7 percentage points to 51.4. This is the 21st consecutive quarter of growth in employment. Ten of the 18 manufacturing industries indexed reported growth in employment. Four industries reported a decrease: Textile Mills; Computer & Electronic Products; Transportation Equipment; and Chemical Products.

Exports declined 1.0 percentage point to 48.5, contracting after growing for the second consecutive month. Imports decreased 1.5 percentage points to 54.0.

Prices were unchanged at 35.0. This is the fourth month in a row that the price of raw materials is decreasing.

Read the ISM release.

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