The Institute for Supply Management's purchasing managers index for February was up to 54.2, compared with 53.1 in January, marking the third consecutive month of manufacturing growth and the fastest expansion pace in more than a year. Domestic demand was up for the second month in a row at 57.8, which is the highest level since April 2011, and production was up for the sixth consecutive month. "Some caution is appropriate, however," MAPI chief economist Daniel J. Meckstroth said. "February may be a euphoric period following the resolution of the fiscal cliff, but it precedes the headwinds of sequester and federal shutdown deadlines this month."

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