Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

U.S. Economic Growth in February Slowest Rate in 2 Years, Survey Says

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

U.S. Economic Growth in February Slowest Rate in 2 Years, Survey Says

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) - The nation's economy grew in February at the slowest rate in two years, according to a survey of purchasing executives.

The National Association of Purchasing Management, which tracks the economy through its monthly survey of its members, said in a report Monday that its Purchasing Managers Index fell slightly last month, to 53.0 from 53.2.

The February level was the lowest for the index since February 1987, when it was 52.6 percent.

Despite the drop, the index still pointed to economic growth. A reading above 50 generally indicates the economy is expanding, while below 50 it is contracting. The index has exceeded 50 for 31 consecutive months.

``The economy appears to have entered a period of slower and more moderate growth than the robust pace of last year,'' said Robert J. Bretz, association chairman and director of materials management at Pitney Bowes Inc.

``This, coupled with a decreased employment and a declining inflation trend, could be signalling a more subdued and healthier economy for this stage of the economic recovery.''

The survey found that new orders continued to increase in February from the previous month, which was at its lowest level since October 1986.

Thirty-two percent of the purchasing managers surveyed said new orders were better last month, while 53 percent said they were the same and 15 percent said they were worse. In January, 27 percent said they were better, while 61 percent said they were the same and 12 percent said they were worse.

The rate of production growth slowed to an index level of 53.7 percent from 56.2 percent in January. The February level was its lowest since 53.0 percent in December 1986. …

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