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US manufacturing index accelerates in August, employment portion also improves

September 04, 2018

Economic activity in the US manufacturing sector accelerated in August at a faster rate than in July, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index, released today.

ISM’s manufacturing index rose in August to a reading of 61.3 from July’s reading of 58.1.

Readings above 50 generally indicate improving conditions.

“Respondents are again overwhelmingly concerned about tariff-related activity, including how reciprocal tariffs will impact company revenue and current manufacturing locations,” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Panelists are actively evaluating how to respond to these business changes, given the uncertainty.”

The employment portion of the index rose in August to 58.5 from July’s reading of 56.5, representing growth in employment for the 23nd consecutive month. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 10 reported increased employment and four reported decreased employment: Printing and related support activities; nonmetallic mineral products; electrical equipment, appliances and components; and primary metals.

“Employment continued to expand, supporting production growth during the month,” Fiore said. “Respondents continued to note labor-market issues as a constraint to their production and their suppliers’ production capability.”

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