2 September 2010– Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in August for the 13th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 16th consecutive month, according to the latest Manufacturing Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management. The petroleum and coal products industry reported a contraction in growth for the month.

The PMI registered 56.3 percent, an increase of just under 1 percentage point from July’s reading.

The new orders index registered 53.1 percent in August. That was slightly lower than July, but still the 14th consecutive month of growth in the index.

The production index registered at just under 60 percent for the month, an increase of almost 3 percentage points from July. The petroleum and coal products industry reported a decrease in production for the month.

The employment index registered 60.4 percent, almost 2 percentage points higher than July. It was the ninth consecutive month of growth in manufacturing employment.

The delivery performance of suppliers to manufacturing organizations was slower in August, the 15th consecutive month of slower deliveries.

The customers’ inventories index registered at 43.5 percent, almost 5 percentage points higher than in July. This measure was the 17th consecutive month that the manufacturing industries believe their customers’ inventories are too low.

The prices index registered just under 62 percent in August, 4 percentage points higher than July’s reading. Most of the survey respondents reported paying the same prices in August as they did in July.

The backlog of orders index registered 51.5 percent, 3 percentage points lower than July. Of the 84 percent of respondents who reported a backlog of orders, 25 percent reported greater backlogs, 22 percent reported smaller backlogs and 53 percent reported no change from July.

The new export orders index registered 55.5 percent in August, slightly lower than July’s numbers and the 14th consecutive month of growth in new export orders. The imports index was 1 percentage point higher than the exports, and the month of August was the 12th consecutive month of growth in imports.

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