Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September, and the overall economy grew for the 113th consecutive month, according to the latest Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management.
The September PMI registered 59.8 percent, a decrease of 1.5 percent from the August reading of 61.3 percent. The New Orders Index registered 61.8 percent, a decrease of 3.3 percent from the August reading of 65.1 percent. The Production Index registered 63.9 percent, a 0.6 percent increase compared to the August reading of 63.3 percent.
The Employment Index registered 58.8 percent, an increase of 0.3 percent from the August reading of 58.5 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 61.1 percent, a 3.4 percent decrease from the August reading of 64.5 percent. The Inventories Index registered 53.3 percent, a decrease of 2.1 percent from the August reading of 55.4 percent. The Prices Index registered 66.9 percent in September, a 5.2 percent decrease from the August reading of 72.1 percent, indicating higher raw materials prices for the 31st consecutive month.
“Export orders expanded, but four major industries are no longer contributing,” according to Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
“Price pressure continues, but the index softened for the fourth straight month and dropped below 70 for the first time since December 2017. Demand remains robust, but employment resources and supply chains continue to struggle, but to a lesser degree. Respondents are again overwhelmingly concerned about tariff-related activity, including how reciprocal tariffs will impact company revenue and current manufacturing locations.”
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 reported growth in September, in the following order: Textile Mills; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Plastics & Rubber Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Machinery; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Paper Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Transportation Equipment; Furniture & Related Products; Fabricated Metal Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products. The only industry reporting contraction in September is Primary Metals.