US manufacturing sector sustains strong growth

4 March 2013

The American manufacturing sector experienced another strong period of growth last month, a new report has shown.

Markit's latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) revealed that output from this key industrial arena increased at its strongest rate in nearly a year in February as operating conditions continue to ease.

Although the PMI dipped slightly from January's nine-month high point of 55.8, its current level of 54.3 remains comfortably above the growth threshold of 50 and Markit indicated that the pace of production reached its best level since March 2012.

Output went up across all of the primary market groups, with "particularly sharp" rises being seen by manufacturers of consumer and intermediate goods.

Companies mainly attributed this improved level of production to the fact new business orders were strong once again in February.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, observed: "The manufacturing sector … looks to be on course to expand at a robust quarterly rate of approximately two per cent in the first quarter."

By Asim Shah

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