Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in August for the 15th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 63rd consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management.
The August PMI registered 59 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from July's reading of 57.1 percent, indicating continued expansion in manufacturing. This month's PMI reflects the highest reading since March 2011 when the index registered 59.1 percent.
The New Orders Index registered 66.7 percent, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from the 63.4 percent reading in July, indicating growth in new orders for the 15th consecutive month.
The Production Index registered 64.5 percent, 3.3 percentage points above the July reading of 61.2 percent.
The Employment Index grew for the 14th consecutive month, registering 58.1 percent, a slight decrease of 0.1 percentage point below the July reading of 58.2 percent.
Inventories of raw materials registered 52 percent, an increase of 3.5 percentage points from the July reading of 48.5 percent, indicating growth in inventories following one month of contraction.
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 reported growth in August. The only industry reporting contraction in August is Textile Mills.