Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded again in August, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.
The August PMI® registered 61.3 percent, an increase of 3.2 percentage points from the July reading of 58.1 percent. PMI is an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector; it's based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.
“Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength,” Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee said. “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,” said 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.