The Houston Purchasing Managers Index registered 59.9 in February — up just two-tenths of a point from January.
Five of the eight economic indicators the PMI tracks fell over the period, while two remained the same. Mike Valant, survey chairman with the Institute of Supply Management – Houston, says there’s little cause for concern.
“Production is still strong. Even though it’s stayed level from last month, that’s still the highest it’s been in all of 2010, 2011, and 2012. Employment is still strong — strong compared to last year, I’m sorry. Purchases, although dropping, have been so high that, you know, it’s time to maybe level off. And the finished goods inventory stayed exactly the same for the last month, so production has caught up with demand.”
Sales were by far the leading driver of economic activity. Valant credits the rise in domestic drilling for boosting demand for oil and gas equipment and services.
The PMI has a possible range of zero to 100. Readings over 50 indicate near term production gains.