U.S. manufacturing picked up its growth pace for the first time in four months, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported. The ISM index rose to 56.3% in August from 55.5% in July. This was much stronger than expected.
"Manufacturing activity continued at a very positive rate in August as the PMI rose slightly when compared to July," according to Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "In terms of month-over-month improvement, the Production and Employment Indexes experienced the greatest gains, while new orders continued to grow but at a slightly slower rate. August represents the 13th consecutive month of growth in U.S. manufacturing."
Eleven of the 18 manufacturing industries are reporting growth in August, in the following order: Primary Metals; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Computer & Electronic Products; Paper Products; Chemical Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Printing & Related Support Activities. The five industries reporting contraction in August are: Furniture & Related Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Machinery.
ISM's Production Index registered 59.9 percent in August, which is an increase of 2.9 percentage points from the July reading of 57 percent while the Employment Index registered 60.4 percent in August, which is 1.8 percentage points higher than the 58.6 percent reported in July.