For the first time in six months, economic activity in the manufacturing sector has contracted.
The latest Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Report On Business shows the August Purchasing Managers Index PMI registered 49.4%, down 3.2% from July.
A reading above 50% indicates growth, while anything below that mark suggests contraction.
The New Orders Index dropped 7.8% to 49.1%; the Production Index came in at 49.6%, down 5.8% from July; and the Employment Index slipped 1.1% to 48.3%
Inventories of raw materials registered 49%, a decrease of 0.5%, and the Prices Index registered 53%, down 2% -- indicating higher raw materials prices for the sixth consecutive month.
How they fared
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, six reported growth in August:
- Printing & Related Support Activities;
- Nonmetallic Mineral Products;
- Computer & Electronic Products;
- Miscellaneous Manufacturing;
- Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and
- Chemical Products.
The 11industries reporting contraction in August were:
- Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components;
- Apparel, Leather & Allied Products;
- Plastics & Rubber Products;
- Furniture & Related Products;
- Transportation Equipment;
- Textile Mills;
- Paper Products;
- Petroleum & Coal Products;
- Primary Metals; and
- Fabricated Metal Products.