Manufacturing continued its rapid growth in February as the PMI registered 61.4 percent, an increase of 0.6 percentage point when compared to January's reading of 60.8 percent. This is also the highest PMI reading since May 2004 when the index also registered 61.4 percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.
Some of the categories in the index that listed as both "growing" (for direction) and "faster" (for rate of change) are: new orders, production, employment, exports, manufacturing sector and overall U.S. economy. And prices!
The February index of 61.4 matched the May 2004 reading, and before that you have to go all the way back to December 1983 to find a higher PMI index. Manufacturing continues to the "shining star" of the U.S. economic recovery.