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Manufacturing Grows in February, PMI at 61.4 percent, ISM Says

The Institute for Supply Management says the manufacturing sector expanded for the 19th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 21st consecutive month. The PMI registered 61.4 percent in February.

"February's report from the manufacturing sector indicates continuing strong performance as the PMI registered 61.4 percent, a level last achieved in May 2004. New orders and production, driven by strength in exports in particular, continue to drive the composite index (PMI). New orders are growing significantly faster than inventories, and the Customers' Inventories Index indicates supply chain inventories will require continuing replenishment. The Employment Index is above 60 percent for only the third time in the last decade. While there are many positive indicators, there is also concern as industries related to housing continue to struggle and the Prices Index indicates significant inflation of raw material costs across many commodities," said Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

Fourteen of 18 manufacturing sectors reported growth. The only industries contracting in February were plastics and rubber products, primary metals, nonmetallic minerals, and furniture and related goods.

Manufacturing respondents said:
• "Our plants are working 24/7 to meet production demands." (Fabricated Metal Products)
• "A continued weak dollar is increasing the cost of components purchased overseas. It is going to force us to increase our selling prices to our customers." (Transportation Equipment)
• "Overall demand is off 10 percent." (Plastics and Rubber Products)

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