US Manufacturing Grew in February Despite Coronavirus Jitters

WASHINGTON DC – Despite concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide, U.S. manufacturing continued to grow last month.

From Industry Week

According to the Institute for Supply Management’s measurements of industry activity, U.S. manufacturing held on to growth in February.

The ISM reported March 2 that the manufacturing sector managed to grow in February 2020, but at a much slower rate than the month before. February’s PMI was 50.1%, which indicates expansion but at a lesser rate than January’s 50.9%. January marked the first expansion of that figure since July 2019. Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM business survey committee, said comments from the CEO panel continued to be “positive,” as they were last month, but more cautious than before.

A handful of surveyed CEOs noted that challenges from the COVID-19 outbreak impacted their February numbers. According to one CEO, the virus is “wreaking havoc on the electronic products industry.” That CEO as well as a surveyed machinery executive mentioned efforts to source parts from outside of China in order to soften the blow. Executives in the chemicals, food and beverage, petroleum and coal, and fabricated metal industries all expressed worry about what that coronavirus is already doing to their supply chains.

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