Saturday, February 23, 2013

USA Manufacturing Expands, Jobs Increase

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Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI

The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index PMI) signalled further expansion of the U.S. manufacturing sector in February, although the rate of growth slowed slightly on January’s nine-month peak. At 55.2, down from 55.8, the ‘flash’ PMI reading, which is based on around 85% of usual monthly replies, continued to suggest a strong improvement in overall manufacturing business conditions.

Markit Manufacturing Index (PMI) by Month
Current Index: 55.2 (Flash Estimate)
PMI > 50.0 is expansion, PMI < 50.0 is contraction

Commenting on the flash PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit said: “U.S. manufacturers reported the largest monthly rise in production for almost two years in February, suggesting that the economy is set to rebound from the weak patch seen late last year and allaying fears of a double-dip recession."

“The domestic market is providing the main stimulus to growth, but weak demand in other countries caused export orders to fall slightly for the first time since October."

“The disappointing export performance led overall growth of order books to slow slightly, which in turn caused increasing numbers of manufacturers to think twice about hiring extra staff. Employment rose in February, but the rate of job creation slowed and remained weaker than policymakers would like to see."

“While the survey therefore paints an encouraging picture of the manufacturing sector, helping to drive a return to growth for the economy as a whole in the first quarter of this year, firms still need to see greater confidence in the longer-term economic outlook for employment numbers to pick up again.”

USA Manufacturing Jobs Increase "Reflective of greater output requirements, companies hired additional staff in February. Manufacturing employment rose solidly, albeit at its weakest rate since last November."

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