‘Growth is being driven by robust domestic demand, stemming in turn from buoyant consumers and increased investment spending by the energy sector in particular.’ – Chris Williamson, IHS Markit
US manufacturing activity rose at a stronger-than-expected pace in February, official figures showed on Wednesday. The Institute for Supply Management reported its Purchasing Managers’ Index for the manufacturing sector advanced to 57.7 points last month, the highest level since December 2014, following the previous month’s 56.0 points. Meanwhile, analysts anticipated a mild increase to 56.2. Wednesday’s survey suggested that the US economy expanded for 93rd straight month. Data also showed the New Orders Index climbed to 65.1 last month from 60.4 in January. However, the Employment Index fell to 54.2 in February from the prior month’s 56.1, surpassing analysts’ expectations for a decline to 55.9. Furthermore, the ISM survey showed the Prices Paid Index dropped to 68.0 points last month, meeting forecasts and following the preceding month’s 69.0. Although the reading above 50 point level still indicated higher raw materials prices. The figures indicated strong growth of sales and demand, and painted a positive outlook for the manufacturing sector over the upcoming months. After the release, the EUR/USD pair rose from 1.0529 to 1.043. Nevertheless, the Greenback’s gains on Wednesday were actually driven mostly by Donald Trump’s address to Congress, which boosted investor optimism.