Manufacturing contracted in February
Manufacturing contracted in February as the PMI registered 49.5 percent, an increase of 1.3 percentage points from the January reading of 48.2 percent.
This marks the fifth consecutive month that the PMI was below 50 percent.
A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.
The Institute for Supply Management monthly survey of purchasing exectives showed the New Orders Index at51.5 percent, the same reading as in January. The Production Index registered 52.8 percent, 2.6 percentage points higher than the January reading of 50.2 percent. The Employment Index registered 48.5 percent, 2.6 percentage points above the January reading of 45.9 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 45 percent, an increase of 1.5 percentage points above the January reading of 43.5 percent.