The business survey, taken midway through the month, found the diffusion index of manufacturing activity fell from minus 5.8 in January to minus 12.5 in February.
The component index for new orders dropped from minus 4.3 to minus 7.8. Shipments, however, showed improvement with that index rising to 2.4.
The employment index also improved, with the index measuring the number of employees rising from minus 5.2 to 0.9, the first positive reading in eight months.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]