Manufacturing ended its 19-month long slide in February as factories worked to meet a wave of new orders, an industry report showed today.
The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) monthly Purchasing Managers Index rose to 54.7 in February from 49.9 in January. The index broke 50 for the first time since July 2000.
"February signals the turnaround for manufacturing," said Norbert Ore, chairman of ISM's business survey committee. "Manufacturing has struggled and hopefully this signals the beginning of a strong recovery."
ISM added that its employment index rose to 43.8% in February, up from 42.6% in January. Its new orders index jumped to 62.8 from 55.3 in January, while its production index rose to 61.2 from 52.0.