Both exports and imports soared to new highs in February with continued growth in manufacturing

March 2, 2018 – The Institute of Supply Managements (ISM) New Export Orders Index jumped 62.8 percent in February, an increase of 3 percentage points when compared to the 59.8 percent reported for January, indicating growth in new export orders for the 24th consecutive month. Exports achieved their highest expansion since April 2011, when the index reached 63.8 percent.

Export cargo vessel

Fred Baehner, IBNewsmag publisher, said, “Although we’re not sure how long this expansion will continue, the continued weakness in the dollar and strong demand exhibited by other countries indicates that exports will continue to grow – at least in the near term.”

ISM’s Imports Index rose 60.5 percent in February, an increase of 2.1 percentage points when compared to the 58.4 percent reported for January, indicating that imports grew in February for the 13th consecutive month. Import expansion reached its highest level since February 2007, when the index reached 61.1 percent.

In addition, manufacturing expanded in February as the purchasing manager’s index (PMI) registered 60.8 percent, an increase of 1.7 percentage points from the January reading of 59.1 percent. This indicates growth in manufacturing for the 18th consecutive month at strong levels led by continued expansion in new orders (including exports), production activity, employment and inventories, with suppliers continuing to struggle delivering to demand. The PMI at 60.8 percent is the highest level of expansion seen since May 2004, when it reached 61.4 percent.

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