TEMPE, Ariz. — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the third consecutive month, according to the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. The report was issued by the Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM).

The overall manufacturing index registered 54.2 percent, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from January’s reading of 53.1 percent, indicating expansion in manufacturing for the third straight month. This reading is the highest since June 2011, when the index registered 55.8 percent.

The new orders index registered 57.8 percent, an increase of 4.5 percent over January’s reading of 53.3 percent, indicating growth in new orders for the second consecutive month. As was the case in January, all five of the component indexes — new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, and inventories — registered in positive territory in February.

Publication date: 3/4/2013