ISM report shows manufacturng activity up slightly

It's still a slump, but report's rise offers some room for optimism

By Plant Engineering Staff March 3, 2009

After 11 straight months of decline, the Institute for Supply Management’s index moved ahead two-tenths of a point in February. The benchmark figure rose to 35.8 from 35.6. It’s not the sign of a full-blown recovery by any means, since anything lower than 50 shows a contraction in activity, but any improvement is seen as a sign that perhaps the bottom of manufacturing’s decline has been reached.”Even when we see a modest gain, it’s a glimmer of hope,” Wachovia economist Sam Bullard told CNN Money. Norbert J. Ore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management’st sufficient to overcome manufacturers’ apparent loss of demand. Survey respondents appear generally pessimistic about recovery in 2009. Some express hope that the stimulus package will help their industry.”