Monday, March 02, 2015

ISM Manufacturing index declined to 52.9 in February

by Bill McBride on 3/02/2015 10:00:00 AM

The ISM manufacturing index suggests slower expansion in February than in January. The PMI was at 52.9% in February, down from 53.5% in January. The employment index was at 51.4%, down from 54.1% in January, and the new orders index was at 52.5%, down from 52.9%.

From the Institute for Supply Management: February 2015 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the 26th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 69th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The February PMI® registered 52.9 percent, a decrease of 0.6 percentage point from January’s reading of 53.5 percent. The New Orders Index registered 52.5 percent, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point from the reading of 52.9 percent in January. The Production Index registered 53.7 percent, 2.8 percentage points below the January reading of 56.5 percent. The Employment Index registered 51.4 percent, 2.7 percentage points below the January reading of 54.1 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 52.5 percent, an increase of 1.5 percentage points above the January reading of 51 percent. The Prices Index registered 35 percent, the same percentage as in January, indicating lower raw materials prices for the fourth consecutive month. Comments from the panel express a growing level of concern over the West Coast dock slowdown, negatively impacting exports and imports and requiring workarounds and added costs."
emphasis added
On that last sentence - the good news is the West Cost port slowdown has been resolved, although it will take a few months to catch up.

ISM PMIClick on graph for larger image.

Here is a long term graph of the ISM manufacturing index.

This was slightly below expectations of 53.0%, but still indicates expansion in February.