Washigton, March 1 : The US manufacturing sector continued to expand last month but eased pace on waning new orders and higher prices of raw materials.

The US Institute of Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index, also known as the purchasing managers index (PMI), stood at 52.4 percent in February, lower than the reading of 54.1 percent in January, Xinhua reported Thursday.

A reading above 50 percent indicates an expanding manufacturing sector. The US manufacturing sector has grown for 31 consecutive months by February.

Of the 18 US manufacturing industries, 11 reported growth last month, including apparel, computer and electronic products, petroleum and coal products, said the ISM.

Four industries reported contraction in February, including plastics and rubber, furniture and related products.


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