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ISM: Manufacturing activity strong

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Yuangeng Zhang / Shutterstock.com Yuangeng Zhang / Shutterstock.com

Highest PMI reading since March 2011.

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in August for the 15th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 63rd consecutive month, according to the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

"A positive outlook mixed with caution over global geopolitical unrest."

The August PMI came in at 59%, according to Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.  This was an increase of 1.9 percentage points from July's reading of 57.15, indicating that the manufacturing sector continues to expand. August’s reading was the highest since March 2011 when the index registered 59.1%.

The New Orders Index registered 66.7%, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from the 63.4% reading in July, indicating growth in new orders for the 15th consecutive month.

The Production Index registered 64.5%, up 3.3 percentage points from July’s reading of 61.2%, while the Employment Index decreased slightly to 58.1%.

Inventories of raw materials registered 52%, an increase of 3.5 percentage points from the July reading of 48.5%, indicating growth in inventories following one month of contraction.

Holcomb pointed out that comments from the panel “reflect a positive outlook mixed with caution over global geopolitical unrest."

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