Milwaukee area manufacturing surged in February

The Milwaukee area manufacturing sector had a major increase in activity this month, according to the monthly report released by the Institute for Supply Management-Milwaukee.

February’s seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), was 56.48, up from 51.31 in January and 52.2 in December. Any number above 50 indicates growth.

Indexes for new orders, production, supplier deliveries, inventories, prices and exports all posted increases in February, and all were above the 50 growth level.

The manufacturing employment index fell 2.2 points in February to 52.95 and the backlog of orders index fell 6.0 points to 44.00. The imports index fell 9.5 points to 50.00.

The blue collar employment index improved from 47.8 in January to 51.1 in February, but the while collar employment index fell from 60.6 in January to 54.8 in February.

Manufacturers’ comments from the survey included:

“Overall, our sales have been flat, at best.”

“2012 was a record year for shipments. 2013 is forecasted to be 5 percent better.”

“Price increases on plastics seem to be on the rise.”

“Finding freight fuel surcharges going up.”

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