Manufacturing growth slows
March 1, 2012
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the 31st consecutive month, although growth was slower than in January, according to the latest Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Report On Business. ISM’s composite index of manufacturing activity, the PMI, dipped 1.7 percentage points to 52.4%. The new orders index dropped 2.7 points to 54.9%, while the production dipped four-tenths of a point to 55.3%. The new orders and production indexes are the PMI components that are most closely linked to near-term freight shipments.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries tracked, 11 reported growth in February, and three industries saw no change. The four industries reporting contraction in February are Furniture and related products; nonmetallic mineral products; plastics and rubber products; and electrical equipment, appliances and components.
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