TEMPE, AZ — Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in August, and the overall economy grew for the 99th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

August's PMI reading was its highest since April 2011's 58.9. The second-highest in that span was August 2014's 58.1, with the new reading showing that the current U.S. manufacturing economy is on solid footing.

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 58.8 percent, an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the July reading of 56.3 percent.
  • The New Orders Index registered 60.3 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the July reading of 60.4 percent.
  • The Production Index registered 61 percent, a 0.4 percentage point increase compared to the July reading of 60.6 percent.
  • The Employment Index registered 59.9 percent, an increase of 4.7 percentage points from the July reading of 55.2 percent.
  • The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 57.1 percent, a 1.7 percentage point increase from the July reading of 55.4 percent.
  • The Inventories Index registered 55.5 percent, an increase of 5.5 percentage points from the July reading of 50 percent.
  • The Prices Index registered 62 percent in August, the same reading as July, indicating higher raw materials’ prices for the 18th consecutive month.

Comments from the panel reflect expanding business conditions, with new orders, production, employment, backlog and exports all growing in August, as well as supplier deliveries slowing (improving) and inventories increasing during the period. The Customers’ Inventories Index experienced a sharp decline in August compared to July."

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 14 reported growth in August, in the following order: Textile Mills; Petroleum & Coal Products; Machinery; Transportation Equipment; Fabricated Metal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Paper Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Chemical Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. Three industries reported contraction in August compared to July: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Primary Metals; and Furniture & Related Products.

Last 13 Months
Month PMI
August 2017 58.8
July 2017 56.3
June 2017 57.8
May 2017 54.9
April 2017 54.8
March 2017 57.2
February 2017 57.7
January 2017 56.0
December 2016 54.5
November 2016 53.5
October 2016 52.0
September 2016 51.7
August 2016 49.4
July 2016 52.3


  • "Steady demand across businesses." (Chemical Products)
  • "Demand for light construction equipment continues strong; usually at this time of year, demand slackens." (Machinery)
  • "Overall very steady; starting to pick up as expected." (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • "Overall optimism about the market, both for 2017 and 2018." (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
  • "Business has strengthened over the summer, beyond [the] same period last year." (Paper Products)
  • "Busy production month for August." (Textile Mills)
  • "Sales remain strong month-to-month. (Transportation Equipment)
  • "Slightly higher order intake." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
  • "Order board is very strong right now.&quot (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • "Business is steady and strong.&quot (Furniture & Related Products)