Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Report on Business for the manufacturing sector indicating that manufacturing activity pulled back in February with assessments of most measures cooled.
At 52.4 the purchasing manager’s composite index (PMI) declined a notable 3.14% since January remaining 14.66% below the level seen a year earlier.
Respondents indicated that while there is still some concern over the strength of the recovery and rising commodity prices, outlook was overall positive going forward:
"Business is holding steady. Concern over commodity prices ongoing." (Chemical Products)
"Still somewhat cautious about recovery. Expecting a good year, but not seeing orders yet." (Machinery)
"Demand remains consistent to strong on all levels." (Paper Products)
"Demand from auto makers is getting stronger." (Fabricated Metal Products)
"Manufacturing is busy. Spending money on new equipment to accommodate customer demands. Material prices are staying in check." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
"There seems to be a much more positive outlook for the economy. Customers are ordering material for stock rather than just working hand-to-mouth." (Fabricated Metal Products)
"Global GDP softening and beginning to impact the demand chain." (Computer & Electronic Products)
"Production is busy — several new large projects." (Primary Metals)
"Customers [are] lowering inventory levels, anticipating price decrease due to third-party published reports on materials." (Plastics & Metal Products)
"We are optimistic about the U.S. market this year, a little hesitant about what may happen in Europe and unsure about China." (Transportation Equipment)
"Shipments are increasing over last year. Waiting to see if the trend continues." (Wood Products)