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U.S. manufacturing growth slows

March 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM   |   Comments

TEMPE, Ariz., March 1 (UPI) -- U.S. manufacturing grew in February for the 31st consecutive month, but at a slower pace than January, supply executives said Thursday.

The latest Manufacturing Institute of Supply Manager's Report On Business registered 52.4 percent, a drop from January, when the index was at 54.1 percent.

With numbers above 50 indicating expansion, new orders for U.S. manufacturers expanded for the 34th consecutive month. The New Orders Index in February was 54.9 percent, down 2.7 percentage points from January's 57.6 percent.

The Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee said in a release that the Production Index slid to 55.3 percent from 55.7 percent, also indicating slower growth, although the index has been above 50 for 33 consecutive months.

The Employment Index has stayed above 50 for 29 consecutive months, but, again, showed slower growth in February, 53.2 percent compared with January's 54.3 percent.

In February, 11 of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth. Apparel, leather and allied products registered the most growth, followed by primary metals, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal products, and fabricated metal products.

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