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PMI manufacturing numbers hold steady near highs, reflecting a positive outlook for 2018

01 March, 2018

Bobby Bono
Industrial Manufacturing Leader, PwC US
Tom Waller
Marketing Leader, PwC US

The ISM Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) for manufacturing survey jumped to 60.8 in February, up 1.7% from January. This is the highest recorded number in the last year.

From a historical perspective, the past seven months of PMI numbers are all in the 90th percentile of reports since 2000. This streak of strong numbers reflect the broad economic optimism across the economy. We see this trend continuing in the near future as the benefits from tax reform begin to make their way through the economy. We continue to hear reports from clients that they are accelerating plans to make capital expenditures to take advantages of different aspects of tax reform. Trade policy may be an issue in the future, but optimism continues to grow and can be seen in strong new order numbers (64.2), production numbers (62) and the employment index (59.7). Currently, all signs in the PMI survey continue to point to a positive 2018.