March 01 2018
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February at a faster pace than in January, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index for US manufacturing. February’s index reading was 60.8, up from January’s reading of 59.1.
Any reading above 50% generally indicates improving conditions.
The employment portion of the index rose to a reading of 59.7, up from the January reading of 54.2. This indicates growth in employment in February for the 17th consecutive month.
“Employment expansion remains strong, with panel member companies increasing head count during February to support growth in production activity,” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing business survey committee.
MarketWatch reported the index exceeded the reading of 59 expected – when it polled economists – and reached its highest level since May 2004.