United States: Manufacturing index hits 20-month high in February
March 1, 2013
In February, the ISM manufacturing index reached 54.2%, up from a revised 53.1% in the previous month. The figure surprised the market on the upside, as analysts had expected the index to fall to 52.8%. Building on the strong monthly increase, the index reached its highest level in 20 months.
The improvement over the previous month was mainly driven by strong rises in the new orders as well as the production sub-indices. According to the ISM, "all five of the PMI's component indexes - new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories - registered in positive territory in February", while adding that "the Backlog of Orders, Exports and Imports Indexes all grew in February relative to January".