Manufacturing activity inches up in February, getting closer to growth, reports ISM

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The report’s key metric, the PMI, at 47.7 (a reading of 50 or higher indicates growth), eked out a 0.3% increase, from January to February, contracting, at a slower rate, for the fourth consecutive month. The last four months of contraction, through February, were preceded by a stretch of 29 consecutive months of growth. ISM also said that the overall economy contracted, at a slower rate, in February, for the third consecutive month, which was preceded by 30 consecutive months of growth.