03 March 2008 16:10 [Source: ICIS news]
The index, which measures business activity in 19 major manufacturing sectors, was at 50.7% in January following the earlier 12-month low of 48.4% reported for December 2007.
An index measure of 50% or better indicates that the
The broad US manufacturing industry is a major downstream consumer of chemicals and chemicals-related products.
“The manufacturing sector failed to grow during the month as the PMI fell below 50%, which indicates weaker performance in February when compared with January,” said Norbert Ore, chairman of the institute’s survey committee.
He said that while manufacturers report that their inventories are at reasonable levels, “the major concern is rising prices and falling volume”.
Chemicals manufacturing was among seven key industries reporting contraction in February, along with machinery, furnishings and textiles among others.
However, the institute said that plastics and rubber products reported growth in February along with seven other sectors such as wood products, metals, foods, miscellaneous manufacturing and transportation equipment.
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