The latest read on manufacturing from the ISM came in unexpectedly weak. Analysts were looking for a reading of 58.0, following last month’s 58.4. Instead: 56.5.
-Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the seventh consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 10th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.
“First quarter orders up compared to prior two years!”
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 per cent. 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.”
PERFORMANCE BY INDUSTRY
The 11 manufacturing industries reporting growth in February — listed in order — are: Machinery; Paper Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Textile Mills; Plastics & Rubber Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. The five industries reporting contraction in February are: Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; Primary Metals; Printing & Related Support Activities; and Chemical Products.
WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING …
- “Depends on division, plant and market served.” (Transportation Equipment)
- “Current economy has killed new capital sales.” (Machinery)
- “Commodities are firming again.” (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
- “First quarter orders up compared to prior two years!” (Fabricated Metal Products)
- “…lead times for electronic parts are pushing out to 8 to 24 weeks.” (Computer & Electronic Products)
And here’s a breakdown by unit:
So there’s still growth in various industries, but the rate of growth is really slowing.