February Markit Manufacturing PMI: 18-Month Low

The February US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index conducted by Markit came in at 53.0, down 1.9 from the 54.9 final January figure. Markit's Manufacturing PMI is a diffusion index: A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector; below 50 indicates contraction.

Here is an excerpt from Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit in their latest press release:

February data signalled a softer, but still solid, improvement in operating conditions across the U.S. manufacturing sector. The headline PMI slipped to its lowest since August 2017 amid slower expansions in output and new orders. Notably, the increases were slower than their respective long-run trends, with growth rates dipping to 17- and 20-month lows, respectively. Meanwhile, foreign client demand continued to rise marginally. A sustained upturn in new orders led to a further rise in employment, with backlogs also increasing. [Press Release]

Here is a snapshot of the series since mid-2012.

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Markit Manufacturing PMI

Here is an overlay with the equivalent PMI survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management (see our full article on this series here, note that ).

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Markit and ISM Manufacturing PMI

The next chart uses a three-month moving average of the two rather volatile series to facilitate our understanding of the current trend.

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Markit and ISM Manufacturing PMI

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