The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) PMI index for February increased to 58.6, up +1.0 from January’s 57.6, exceeding consensus market expectations of ~58.0 (a reading above 50 indicates expansion). This was the 21st month in a row of growth since the March-April 2020 COVID downturn led by Backlog of Orders (+8.6 to 65.0), New Orders (+3.8 to 61.7) and New Export Orders (+3.4 to 57.1). According to ISM, “the U.S. manufacturing sector remains in a demand-driven, supply chain-constrained environment. The COVID-19 omicron variant remained an impact in February; however, there were signs of relief, with recovery expected in March. A higher-than-normal quits rate and early retirements continued…All of the six biggest manufacturing industries — Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Chemical Products; and Petroleum & Coal Products, in that order — registered moderate-to-strong growth in February.” See the full report here.