The US manufacturing ISM fell unexpectedly in February. The headline index dropped from 54.1 to 52.4, while the consensus was looking for a slight increase. The details show a mixed picture as new orders (54.9 from 57.6), supplier deliveries (49.0 from 53.6), customer inventories (46.0 from 47.5) and employment (53.2 from 54.3) weakened slightly. Production (55.3 from 55.7), backlog of orders (52.0 from 52.5) and inventories (49.5 from 49.5) were broadly unchanged from the previous month, new export orders (59.5 from 55.0) and imports (54.0 from 52.5) picked up in February. Also prices paid accelerated sharply in February, rising from 55.5 to 61.5, probably due to the sharp increase in the oil price. The setback in the manufacturing ISM is slightly disappointing, especially after the strong regional data. We believe however that the correction is temporary as it was probably due to seasonal factors, which were extremely negative in February. Therefore we hope to see a rebound next month.