Manufacturing expansion passes two years

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Even with the gloomy business reports of late summer, manufacturing executives reported more growth in August.

Factory activity expanded for the 25th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 27th consecutive month, according to the supply managers surveyed for the Institute for Supply Management’s  monthly Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

It wasn’t a boom by any means. Overall growth, as measured by ISM’s composite index (PMI), dropped a little from July, says ISM’s survey committee. At 50.6, it’s barely above the 50 threshold, where growth begins.

Furthermore, “The Production Index registered 48.6 percent, indicating contraction for the first time since May of 2009, when it registered 45 percent. The New Orders and Backlog of Orders Indexes edged up slightly from July, but both indexes are indicating contraction in August at slower rates than in July.” Those measures are among others that form the PMI composite.

Ten sectors reported growth in August, in the following order: Wood Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Paper Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Machinery.

Six industries — listed in order — reported contraction: Plastics & Rubber Products; Textile Mills; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; and Primary Metals.

You can read the full ISM report.

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