NEW YORK – The seasonally adjusted Milwaukee Report on Business gained to 58.62 in February from 58.40 in January, according to the Institute for Supply Management-Milwaukee.

New orders received grew to 63.10 from 62.18, production dropped to 56.80 from 59.97, employment fell to 53.20 from 56.47, supplier deliveries grew to 59.90 from 57.30, and backlog of orders slid to 50.00 from 51.67.

Inventory levels climbed to 60.00 from 56.06, customers’ inventories rose to 42.00 from 40.74, prices gained to 74.14 from 65.15, exports increased to 63.16 from 56.82 and imports climbed to 61.36 from 52.27.

The blue collar diffusion index decreased to 51.63 from 53.30, while the white collar diffusion index fell to 51.63 from 54.90.

Respondents’ comments included:

Economic conditions continue at a very slow but positive pace;

No major changes in any of the commodities we purchase, with stable pricing and inventory readily available;

Exchange rate changes between China and USA noted –as well as wage inflation in China;

Speculators harming the cost of copper;

Incoming orders are strong;

Automotive demand continues to strengthen;

Continued strong demand in Heavy Duty truck manufacturing markets.

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