Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in February for the fifth consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 81st consecutive month, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

Graph of ISM PMI index january 1963 through February 2016
Graph Courtesy Calculated Risk Blog

We admit that manufacturing is one definitive pocket of recession- 5 consecutive months of contracting economic activity is by definition “recessionary.”

Strong consumer balance sheets and strong corporate balance sheets seem to be keeping the general economy growing, with February being the 81st consecutive month of general economic expansion according to ISM.
Besides, there has never been a recession in the United States unless and until the yield spread has inverted. Of course, there was never before such a situation of somuch foreign purchase of US Treasury debt either…
Our January Business trends report showed many respondents with huge sales increases over December 2015, and many with no significant pick up.
We think that we have, as manufacturers, stronger months ahead of us in 2016.
Calculated Risk Blog