The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Manufacturing Expands in August

At 61.3 percent, PMI reaches highest level since May 2004.

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in August, according to the latest Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management. The group’s Purchasing Manager’s Index increased 3.2 percentage points during the month to a reading of 61.3, its highest level since May 2004, when the index reached a reading of 61.4.

ISM said the results indicate strong growth in manufacturing for the 24th straight month, led by continued expansion in all of the Report’s subindexes. A PMI above 50 percent indicates the manufacturing economy is expanding; a reading below 50 percent indicates it is contracting. ISM said the results show that the overall economy grew for the 112th straight month in August.

The August PMI showed growth in new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories. The Pricing Index grew in August as well, although at a slower rate, indicating higher raw materials pricing for the 30th straight month, the group said.

Although demand remains strong, ISM said manufacturers remain concerned about how global economic issues—particularly tariff-related activity—will affect business going forward.

“Panelists are actively evaluating how to respond to these business changes, given the uncertainty," said Timothy R. Fiore, chairman of ISM’s  Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.


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