Manufacturing activity expands, adding to growth expectations for the second half of 2014

by Carol Miller, MHI VP of Marketing and Communications

Manufacturing activity in the United States expanded at the fastest rate since March 2011 in August, marking the fifteenth consecutive month of growth, according to the most recent Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®. The August PMI® registered 59 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from July’s reading of 57.1 percent.

New orders rose to 66.7, an increase of 3.3 points from 63.4 in July. The employment index grew for the fourteenth consecutive month the report said, registering 58.1, down 0.01 points from 58.2 in July. The positive report is adding to expectations of an acceleration in U.S. economic growth in the second half of 2014.

“This month’s PMI® reflects the highest reading since March 2011 when the index registered 59.1 percent,” said Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

“The August PMI® is led by the highest recorded New Orders Index since April 2004 when it registered 67.1 percent. At the same time, comments from the panel reflect a positive outlook mixed with caution over global geopolitical unrest.”

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 17 are reporting growth in August in the following order: Plastics & Rubber Products; Furniture & Related Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Paper Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Chemical Products; Primary Metals; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. The only industry reporting contraction in August is Textile Mills.

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