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Monday, March 01, 2010

ISM Manufacturing Index Shows Expansion in February

by Calculated Risk on 3/01/2010 10:00:00 AM

PMI at 56.5% in February. Down from 58.4% in January, and up from 54.9% in December.

From the Institute for Supply Management: February 2010 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the seventh consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 10th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The manufacturing sector grew for the seventh consecutive month during February. While new orders and production were not as strong as they were in January, they still show significant month-over-month growth. Additionally, the Employment Index is very encouraging, as it is up 2.8 percentage points for the month to 56.1 percent. This is the third consecutive month of growth in the Employment Index. With these levels of activity, manufacturers are seemingly willing to hire where they have orders to support higher employment."

...
ISM's Employment Index registered 56.1 percent in February, which is 2.8 percentage points higher than the seasonally adjusted 53.3 percent reported in January. This is the third month of growth in manufacturing employment, and the highest reading since January 2005 (58.7 percent). An Employment Index above 49.8 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on manufacturing employment.
emphasis added
As noted, any reading above 50 shows expansion.

This suggest the manufacturing sector is continuing to expand, but at a slower pace than in January (this was slightly below expectations).