According to the Institute for Supply Management’s survey, economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the third consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 45th consecutive month.

The ISM said the PMI registered 54.2, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from January’s reading of 53.1, indicating expansion in manufacturing for the third consecutive month and the highest PMI since June 2011.

The report said the New Orders Index registered 57.8, an increase of 4.5 points over January’s reading of 53.3, indicating growth in new orders for the second consecutive month. As was the case in January, all five of the PMI’s component indexes new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories registered in positive territory in February. In addition, the backlog of orders, exports and imports Indexes all grew in February relative to January.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 are reporting growth in February in the following order: apparel, leather & allied products; miscellaneous manufacturing; paper products; electrical equipment, appliances & components; plastics & rubber products; fabricated metal products; furniture & related products; petroleum & coal products; wood products; printing & related support activities; transportation equipment; nonmetallic mineral products; food, beverage & tobacco products; machinery and primary metals. The three industries reporting contraction in February are: textile mills; computer & electronic products and chemical products.

To read the full ISM Report, click here.