Manufacturing in the U.S. continued to expand in February, although at a lower rate than in the first month of 2012, a new report out of the Institute for Supply Management says.
The key manufacturing index out of the ISM declined to 52.4 from 54.1 a month earlier. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a 40 basis point rise to 54.5.
Respondents to the survey remained surprisingly upbeat, even as demand appeared to cool.
“Manufacturing is busy,” an executive in the Food, Beverage, and Tobacco industry said. “Spending money on new equipment to accommodate customer demands. Material prices are staying in check.”
Nearly across the board, sub-indexes in the ISM report fell from January levels. While still showing signs of growth, the employment, production and new orders indexes dropped to 53.2, 55.3, and 54.9, respectively.
Prices also advanced sharply according to the data, jumping to 61.5 from 55.5. Economists had expected an increase to 58.0.
Below, a look at the sub-indexes in the ISM report.
Photo: Institute For Supply Management
Minutes away from the next big economic announcement of the day: ISM Manufacturing.
Economists polled by Bloomberg expect the index measuring business conditions and manufacturing activity in the U.S. to advance 40 basis points to 54.5.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index and NAPM-Milwaukee data released yesterday day showed strong improvement. The Chicago region’s key manufacturing indicator gained to 64.0 from 60.2, while Milwaukee saw a smaller 20 basis point improvement.