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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

U.S. Manufacturing Contracts Again in February

U.S. manufacturing contracted for a 13th consecutive month in February, according to the Institute for Supply Management's factory index.

Manufacturers are getting smaller by laying off workers and cutting production to keep up with plummeting sales.

The index ticked up from 35.6 to 35.8 last month, but any number less than 50 means the manufacturing sector is in contraction, rather than expansion.

The report is "an ugly number by any standards, but it’s sort of the middle of the level of ugliness we’re experiencing," Guy Lebas, chief economist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia, told Bloomberg.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  March 2, 2009; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: contraction, layoffs, manufacturing  
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