U.S. Manufacturing Index Remains At Two-Year Low In August

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A report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Thursday showed its reading on U.S. manufacturing activity remained at a two-year low in August.

The ISM said its manufacturing PMI came in at 52.8 in August, unchanged from July. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 52.0.

While a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the manufacturing sector, the index remained at its lowest level since hitting 52.4 in June 2020.

The headline index came in unchanged as the new orders index climbed to 51.3 in August from 48.0 in July, but the production index slid to 50.4 in August from 53.5 in July.

Meanwhile, the employment index jumped to 54.2 in August from 49.9 in July, suggesting the manufacturing sector saw a return to job growth after three months of contraction.

The report also showed the supplier deliveries index edged down to 55.1 in August from 55.2 in July, indicating deliveries slowed at a slower rate compared to the previous month.

On the inflation front, the prices index tumbled to 52.5 in August from 60.0 in July, dropping below 60 for the first time since August 2020.

"The U.S. manufacturing sector continues expanding at rates similar to the prior two months," said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

He added, "New order rates returned to expansion levels, supplier deliveries remain at appropriate tension levels and prices softened again, reflecting movement toward supply/demand balance."

Next Tuesday, the ISM is scheduled to release a separate report on U.S. service sector activity in the month of August.

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