There’s encouraging news in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.
According to the report, the overall economy grew for the tenth consecutive month during February. Plus, economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew for the seventh consecutive month and employment numbers showed growth for the third month in a row.
The 11 manufacturing industries reporting growth in February — listed in order — are:
Apparel, Leather & Allied Products
Computer & Electronic Products
Plastics & Rubber Products
Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components
Fabricated Metal Products
Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products.
By contrast, the following five industries reported contraction in February:
Furniture & Related Products
Printing & Related Support Activities
"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,” says Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “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."
Interestingly, no commodities were reported in short supply, and copper was the only commodity reported down in price. What a difference a few days can make. Now Chile, the world’s largest producer of copper, is reeling from the earthquake over the weekend, and analysts remain uncertain about how production and price will be affected.
Many more details from the February 2010 Manufacturing ISM Report on Business are available here.