ISM Manufacturing Index: Business Conditions Expanded In February
Thursday, the Institute for Supply Management published its monthly Manufacturing Report for February. The latest headline Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was 60.8 percent, an increase of 1.7 percent from 59.1 the previous month. The headline number was above the Investing.com forecast of 58.7 percent.
Here is the key analysis from the report:
The report was issued today by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: "The February PMI® registered 60.8 percent, an increase of 1.7 percentage points from the January reading of 59.1 percent. The New Orders Index registered 64.2 percent, a decrease of 1.2 percentage points from the January reading of 65.4 percent. The Production Index registered 62 percent, a 2.5 percentage point decrease compared to the January reading of 64.5 percent. The Employment Index registered 59.7 percent, an increase of 5.5 percentage points from the January reading of 54.2 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 61.1 percent, a 2 percentage point increase from the January reading of 59.1 percent. The Inventories Index registered 56.7 percent, an increase of 4.4 percentage points from the January reading of 52.3 percent. The Prices Index registered 74.2 percent in February, a 1.5 percentage point increase from the January reading of 72.7 percent, indicating higher raw materials prices for the 24th consecutive month. Comments from the panel reflect expanding business conditions, with new orders and production maintaining high levels of expansion; employment expanding at a faster rate to support production; order backlogs expanding at a faster rate; and export orders and imports continuing to grow faster in February. Supplier deliveries continued to slow (improving) at a faster rate. Price increases occurred across most industry sectors. The Customers' Inventories Index indicates levels remain too low. Capital expenditure lead times improved by five days while production material supplier lead times extended four days during the month of February."
Here is the table of PMI components.
The chart below shows the Manufacturing Composite series, which stretches back to 1948. The eleven recessions during this time frame are indicated along with the index value the month before the recession starts.
For a diffusion index, the latest reading of 60.8 is its eighteenth consecutive month of expansion. What sort of correlation does that have with the months before the start of recessions? Check out the red dots in the chart above.
Here is a closer look at the series beginning at the turn of the century.
Note: This commentary used the FRED USRECP series (Peak through the Period preceding the Trough) to highlight the recessions in the charts above. For example, the NBER dates the last cycle peak as December 2007, the trough as June 2009 and the duration as 18 months. The USRECP series thus flags December 2007 as the start of the recession and May 2009 as the last month of the recession, giving us the 18-month duration. The dot for the last recession in the charts above is thus for November 2007. The "Peak through the Period preceding the Trough" series is the one FRED uses in its monthly charts, as illustrated here.
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