U.S. manufacturing growth accelerates in February by Elaine360

U.S. manufacturing growth rebounded off an eight-month low in February, helped by a recovery in new orders, an industry report showed on Monday.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity rose to 53.2 in February, up from January’s read of 51.3, which was the weakest reading since May 2013.

Employees of JJ Churchill precision engineering polish turbine blades in the company's factory in Market Bosworth, central England, October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Tom Bergin

February’s figure topped the median forecast of 52.0 in a Reuters poll of economists.

Readings above 50 indicate expansion in the sector.

The report reversed two straight months of slowing growth, though it remains below November’s recent peak reading of 57, which is the highest since April 2011.

January’s weakness came on a steep drop in the forward-looking new orders index. That component rebounded to 54.5 from 51.2 in January.

There were some cautionary notes, as the production subindex sank to 48.2 from 54.8, notching its third straight month of declines and falling below 50 for the first time since August 2012. The employment index held flat at 52.3.

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