US manufacturing on a 7-year high


Manufacturing in the US grew last month at the fastest pace in almost seven years, according to the latest data from Bloomberg.

The growth was driven by gains in orders, employment and exports.

The US Institute for Supply Management’s factory index increased to 61.4 – the highest level since May 2004. Readings greater than 50 signal growth.

This latest data puts the US at the forefront of the global manufacturing rebound, compared with Europe and Asia.

“Manufacturing is booming,” said Dean Maki, chief US economist at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York.

“Corporate profits continue to grow at a rapid pace, and that is providing significant fuel for gains in business investment.”

A gauge of factories in the euro region rose to 59 last month, the highest since June 2000, from 57.3 in January, London-based Markit Economics said.

A UK index of manufacturing held at 61.5 in February, the highest since the survey started in 1992, according to Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

In China, the Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped for a third month. The gauge fell to 52.2 from a January reading of 52.9, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said on its website. In contrast, India’s manufacturing grew at the quickest pace in three months, rising to 57.9, according to a survey by HSBC and Markit Economics.

The manufacturing industry, which accounts for about 11 per cent of the world’s largest economy, led the recovery from the recession that ended in June 2009 as businesses rebuilt stockpiles slashed during the slump that began in December 2007. Rising exports have also spurred production.

Last year US gross domestic product increased 2.8 per cent, the most in five years.

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