The Institute for Supply Management reported today that its monthly PMI index increased 1.9% to 53.2% in February from 51.3% in January.
While the production index dipped to 48.2% in February from 54.8% the previous month, the new orders index increased 3.3 percentage points to 54.4%. Inventories of raw materials also grew, by 8.5 percentage points to 52.5%.
"The acceleration in manufacturing activity in February, resulting from a sharp dip in production coupled with gain in new orders, supports the notion that much of the weakness in economic data is weather related," said James Marple, a senior economist with TD Economics. "Following January's disappointing number, the rebound in new orders is particularly encouraging and suggests that businesses are managing through the poor weather and expecting greater demand in the months ahead."
Read more about underlying economic factors on IndustryWeek.
IndustryWeek is an NED companion site within Penton’s Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group