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Manufacturing Sector Continues to Expand, Institute for Supply Management Finds

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) finds in its Manufacturing Report on Business that the manufacturing sector expanded in August for the thirteenth consecutive month, bringing the PMI to 56.3 percent. The economy continued to expand for the sixteenth consecutive month.

"Manufacturing activity continued at a very positive rate in August as the PMI rose slightly when compared to July," wrote Norbert J. Ore, chairman of ISM. "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 thirteenth consecutive month of growth in U.S. manufacturing."

Eighteen manufacturing sectors expanded in August, with only five (furniture, petroleum and coal, nonmetallic minerals, plastics and rubber, and machinery) contracting. A primary metals survey respondent said, "Orders and business [are] still strong," but a respondent in the electrical equipment sector reported, "Still experiencing intermittent delays in electronic components due to capacity and raw materials."

New orders dropped to 53.1 percent in August from 53.5 percent in July. Production edged up to 59.9 percent in August from 57 percent in July. And employment reached 60.4 percent in August, up from 58.6 percent in July.

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