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Manufacturing growth slows in February

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Ongoing labor dispute in West Coast ports seen as dragging activity down.

According to a widely-followed index of manufacturing activity, the growth in US manufacturing slowed in February to its lowest rate in 13 months.

On Monday, the Institute of Supply Management issued the results of its monthly national manufacturing survey for February, which indicated that manufacturing growth fell 0.6 percentage points during the month, falling from 53.5% in January to 52.9%.

(A reading above 50% indicates growth.)

Analysts had expected a fall to 53.1%

The New Orders Index registered 52.5%, a decrease of 0.4 percentage points from 52.9% in January, while the Production Index fell to 53.7%, 2.8 percentage points below January’s reading.

The Employment Index also fell, coming in at 51.4%, 2.7 percentage points below the prior month.

In presenting the report, Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said that “comments from the survey indicated a growing level of concern over the West Coast dock slowdown, negatively impacting exports and imports and requiring workarounds and added costs."



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