For the February PMI, 17 of the 18 surveyed industries reported expansion, including textiles, machinery, primary metals, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, miscellaneous manufacturing and petroleum and coal products.
The Tempe, AZ-based group said in a monthly report that its PMI, which measures economic activity in manufacturing, rose to 57.7% last month from 56% in January.
Any reading above 50% indicates improving conditions. The index at 45.2 points indicated a decline in production level when compared to the 51.3 points in the previous month.
Samsung leader will be indicted for bribery and embezzlement
Lee faces formal charges of bribery, perjury, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas , and concealing profit from criminal acts. No trial dates have been set, but South Korea is known for doling out light sentences to business leaders.
"There is growing confidence in manufacturing growth", he told reporters in a conference call. Companies raised output charges at the fastest pace in more than five years as higher commodity prices and a weaker euro drove up costs, while suppliers took longer to fill orders, the company said. The only industry reporting contraction was furniture.
"Firmer demand, domestic and foreign, is setting the stage for meaningful improvement in the manufacturing sector, but much depends on the evolution of USA fiscal, regulatory, and trade policy in the months ahead", wrote Moody, of Regions Financial.
"Growth is being driven by robust domestic demand, stemming in turn from buoyant consumers and increased investment spending by the energy sector in particular", said Chris Williamson, the chief business economist at IHS Markit. In addition, the new orders and production indices both experienced increases as well, with the new orders index rising 4.7% to 65.1% while the production index rose 1.5% to 61.4%. Employment was the lone metric to show a decrease from January to February, but even though it was down 1.9 percent to 54.2, it remained on the right side of growth for the fifth straight month.