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U.S. Factories Bounce Back in February

Wall Street Journal (03/03/14) Jonathan House; Kathleen Madigan

The Institute for Supply Management’s broad manufacturing index rose 1.9 points to 53.2 in February, after a substantial decline in January. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. The reading came despite manufacturer reports that weather disrupted business worse in February than in January.

Fourteen of 18 industries grew. However, the production index fell to 48.2, the first time the index has contracted since last spring and the lowest level since May 2009, prior to the end of the recession. Meanwhile, the new orders index rose to 54.5 from 51.2.