The New Orders Index registered 54.5 percent, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from January's reading of 51.2 percent. The Production Index registered 48.2 percent, a decrease of 6.6 percentage points compared to January's reading of 54.8 percent. Inventories of raw materials increased by 8.5 percentage points to 52.5 percent. As in January, several comments from the panel mention adverse weather conditions as a factor impacting their businesses in February. Other comments reflect optimism in terms of demand and growth in the near term."
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 are reporting growth in February in the following order: Textile Mills; Wood Products; Machinery; Printing & Related Support Activities; Plastics & Rubber Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Transportation Equipment; Paper Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Fabricated Metal Products; Furniture & Related Products; Primary Metals; and Chemical Products. The three industries reporting contraction in February are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.