Monthly regional activity shows improvement in new orders, production and supplier delivery time

KENNESAW, Ga. — Manufacturing activity in the Southeast increased in February, driven by strong improvements in all areas except employment, according to the Southeast’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report released today by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business. The Southeast PMI increased 5.4 points to 56, while the National PMI increased 1.9 points to 53.2. 

Six Southeastern states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee — are included in the Econometric Center’s monthly regional report. Four states — Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi — recorded higher PMIs. Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee recorded higher new orders and production, which contributed to the 5.4-point PMI increase.

The increase moved the February Southeast PMI to a more solid level of growth and its highest reading since May 2012. New orders and production increases of 10 and 7 points, respectively, were instrumental for such a strong increase, according to Don Sabbarese, director of the Econometric Center and professor of economics at Kennesaw State.

“February’s increase, although encouraging, still requires a longer period at this level to prove its sustainability,” said Sabbarese.

Highlights of the February Southeast PMI include: 

  • New orders increased 10 points to 59 based on increases for Florida, Georgia and Tennessee
  • Production increased 7.1 points to 55, based on increases for Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee
  • Employment decreased 3.2 points to 52, based on decreases for Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi
  • Supplier delivery increased 6 points to 57, based on increases for Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana
  • Finished inventory increased 7 points to 57, based on increases for Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee
  • Commodity prices decreased 7.6 points to 58, based on decreases for Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee

The Southeast PMI reading is a composite of five variables — new orders, production, employment, supply deliveries and finished inventory. A sixth variable, commodity prices, is compiled by the Coles College’s Econometric Center but does not go into the PMI calculation.

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.