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Tempe, AZ — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in August, and the overall economy grew for the 112th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

The report was issued today by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: “The August PMI registered 61.3 percent, an increase of 3.2 percentage points from the July reading of 58.1 percent. The New Orders Index registered 65.1 percent, an increase of 4.9 percentage points from the July reading of 60.2 percent. The Production Index registered 63.3 percent, a 4.8-percentage point increase compared to the July reading of 58.5 percent. The Employment Index registered 58.5 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points from the July reading of 56.5 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 64.5 percent, a 2.4-percentage point increase from the July reading of 62.1 percent. The Inventories Index registered 55.4 percent, an increase of 2.1 percentage points from the July reading of 53.3 percent. The Prices Index registered 72.1 percent in August, a 1.1-percentage point decrease from the July reading of 73.2 percent, indicating higher raw materials prices for the 30th consecutive month.

“Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength. Demand remains strong, with the New Orders Index at 60 percent or above for the 16th straight month, and the Customers’ Inventories Index remaining low. The Backlog of Orders Index continued to expand, at higher levels compared to the previous month. Consumption improved, with production and employment continuing to expand, at higher levels compared to July, despite shortages in labor and materials. Inputs (expressed as supplier deliveries, inventories and imports) expanded strongly due to continuing supply chain inefficiencies, positive increases in inventory levels and a slight easing of imports. Lead-time extensions, steel and aluminum disruptions, supplier labor issues, and transportation difficulties continue, but at more manageable levels.

“Export orders expanded at stable levels. Prices pressure continues, but the index softened for the third straight month and remains above 70. Demand is still robust, but the nation’s employment resources and supply chains continue to struggle. Respondents are again overwhelmingly concerned about tariff-related activity, including how reciprocal tariffs will impact company revenue and current manufacturing locations. Panelists are actively evaluating how to respond to these business changes, given the uncertainty,” says Fiore.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 16 reported growth in August, in the following order: Computer & Electronic Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Textile Mills; Paper Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Furniture & Related Products; Machinery; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Transportation Equipment; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; and Printing & Related Support Activities. The two industries reporting contraction in August are: Wood Products; and Primary Metals.

MANUFACTURING AT A GLANCE — AUGUST 2018

Index Series Index Aug Series Index Jul Percentage Point Change Direction Rate of Change Trend* (Months)
PMI 61.3 58.1 +3.2 Growing Faster 24
New Orders 65.1 60.2 +4.9 Growing Faster 32
Production 63.3 58.5 +4.8 Growing Faster 24
Employment 58.5 56.5 +2.0 Growing Faster 23
Supplier Deliveries 64.5 62.1 +2.4 Slowing Faster 23
Inventories 55.4 53.3 +2.1 Growing Faster 8
Customers’ Inventories 41.0 39.4 +1.6 Too Low Faster 23
Prices 72.1 73.2 -1.1 Increasing Slower 30
Backlog of Orders 57.5 54.7 +2.8 Growing Faster 19
New Export Orders 55.2 55.3 -0.1 Growing Slower 30
Imports 53.9 54.7 -0.8 Growing Slower 19
OVERALL ECONOMY Growing Faster 112
Manufacturing Sector Growing Faster 24

Manufacturing ISM Report On Business data is seasonally adjusted for the New Orders, Production, Employment and Supplier Deliveries Indexes. *Number of months moving in current direction.

                  Month                                    PMI                  
Aug. 2018 61.3
July 2018 58.1
June 2018 60.2
May 2018 58.7
April 2018 57.3
March 2018 59.3

Feb. 2018

60.8
Jan. 2018 59.1
Dec. 2017 59.3
Nov. 2017 58.2
Oct. 2017 58.5
Sept. 2017 60.2
12-month average - 59.3
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