dglobalnews.com United States manufacturing activity slowed down in February, Markit says
Published: Fri, March 03, 2017
Markets | By Armando Jensen

United States manufacturing activity slowed down in February, Markit says

"Incoming data suggest this index may have increased further in February, consistent with the further improvement seen in manufacturing indexes from other surveys", said Nomura economists in a preview.

The index is up 8 points from its level a year ago (a contracting 49.7) which gives a sense of the speed of recovery and is close to the November 1999 peak at 58.1.

Treasury yields, which had already been rising overnight through this morning, reached 2.47% by 10:45 a.m. ET, a two-week high, according to Tradeweb. The group's New Orders Index was 65.1%, the highest since December 2013 and its Production Index was 62.9%, the highest since March 2011.

The prices index slowed in the month to 68 percent from 69 percent, but still indicates increasing costs.

The ISM report is based on a survey of 350 purchasing and supply executives in 18 industries.

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Also, 12 manufacturing sub-sectors recorded declines in production level during the review month in the following order: electrical equipment; paper products; transportation equipment; chemical & pharmaceutical products; plastics & rubber products; furniture & related products; fabricated metal products; printing & related support activities; computer & electronic products; primary metal; textile, apparel, leather & footwear and cement.

"Growth is being driven by robust domestic demand, stemming in turn from buoyant consumers and increased investment spending by the energy sector in particular", said Chris Williamson, the chief business economist at IHS Markit.

"Firmer demand, domestic and foreign, is setting the stage for meaningful improvement in the manufacturing sector, but much depends on the evolution of USA fiscal, regulatory, and trade policy in the months ahead", wrote Moody, of Regions Financial. Ten industries reported expansion, while five reported a decrease in employment.

New export orders remained solid, up to 55 from 54.5 in January.

Both the employment and prices indices fell during the month.

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