U.S. Manufacturing Index Hits Two-Year High

The U.S. manufacturing industry is strong and getting stronger, according to the results of the latest Institute for Supply Management report.

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which measures the economic health of the manufacturing sector based on new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries, and the employment environment, was 57.7% in February. That makes last month the sixth in a row that the PMI has increased. It’s also the highest the reading has been since August 2014. In addition, orders rose at their fastest pace since February 2013.

The PMI tracks 18 manufacturing industries, including chemicals, paper, petroleum and coal, and food, beverage, and tobacco. Of the 18, the only one that didn’t report growth in February was furniture and related products.

Respondents from various industries noted that, overall, demand is high, lead times are extending, and manufacturers are planning to make capital investments so they can keep up.

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