WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US manufacturing activity lifted higher than expected in February as Covid-19 infections eased even as factory work slowed, helped by entanglement of supply chains and higher input prices.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Tuesday said its national factory activity index rose to 58.6 last month from 57.6 in January, the lowest since November 2020.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for 11.9% of the US economy. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted the index to rise to 58.0.
Manufacturing is gaining momentum in line with the broader economy after hitting pace in the form of coronavirus infections driven by the Omron variant across the country. The United States is reporting an average of 64,200 new Covid-19 infections a day, a fraction of the more than 700,000 in mid-January, according to a Reuters analysis of official figures.
The ISM survey’s potential new orders sub-index rose to 61.7 from 57.9 in January last month, the lowest reading since June 2020. services such as travel. Even if spending on services comes back as health conditions improve, economists expect demand for goods to remain strong.
Customer list remained extremely low for over 60 months.
The measure of the Factory Job Survey dropped to 52.9 from 54.5 the previous month. This was extended for five consecutive months.
(by Lucia Mutikani)
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