WASHINGTON, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector accelerated in February, reversing two months of slowing growth, an industry survey showed on Monday.
The manufacturing index, also known as the purchasing managers index (PMI), registered 53.2 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage from January's reading, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said in a report.
It indicated expansion in manufacturing for the ninth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 57th consecutive month.
A reading above 50 percent indicates the sector is generally expanding, while a reading below the ratio indicates contraction.
The New Orders Index registered 54.5 percent, an increase of 3. 3 percentage points. The Production Index registered 48.2 percent, a decrease of 6.6 percentage points.
Inventories of raw materials increased by 8.5 percentage points to 52.5 percent, as the adverse weather conditions prompted manufacturers to pile up goods.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 reported growth, including textile mills, wood products and machinery.
The three industries reporting contraction are apparel, leather and allied products, petroleum and coal products, and miscellaneous manufacturing.