US manufacturing suffers fifth month of contraction – ISM PMI

Chris Papadopoullos
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A strong dollar and weak growth abroad have weighed on US manufacturers (Source: Getty)

The US manufacturing sector contracted for a fifth consecutive month in February, according to new survey data.

The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) purchasing managers' index rose to a score of 49.5 from January's 48.2. Scores below 50 indicate contraction.

Production rose despite export growth falling into negative territory.

A similar survey of US factories suggested growth had dropped to its lowest since October 2013, but was still in positive territory. Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers' index dropped to a score of 51.3 from January's 52.4. Respondents to Markit's survey said uncertainty about the global economic had acted as brake on production at their plants.

Both the Eurozone and the UK posted sharp slowdowns in manufacturing sector growth today.

"More evidence that talk of a manufacturing recession - or, even more extreme, a broad recession triggered by a manufacturing downturn - is off the mark. To be clear, this is not a robust report, and we have no real hopes of a sustained strong rebound this year," said economist Ian Shepherdson from Pantheon Macroeconomics.

"But the hits from the strong dollar, the slowdown in China and the collapse in capex in the oil sector are all diminishing."

"In short, not too bad for a sector that's meant to be in meltdown, but the real upside action in the economy is in the services sector."

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