ISM Manufacturing Index Contracts for Tenth Straight Month

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 47.6 in August. The latest figure marks the tenth consecutive month the index has been in contraction territory after a 29-month period of growth dating back to June 2020. The August reading was above the forecast of 47.0.

Here is an excerpt from the latest report:

Fiore continues, “The U.S. manufacturing sector shrank again, but the uptick in the PMI® indicates a slower rate of contraction. The August composite index reading reflects companies managing outputs appropriately as order softness continues, but the month-over-month increase is a sign of improvement. Demand eased again, with the (1) New Orders Index contracting at a slightly faster rate, (2) New Export Orders Index continuing in contraction territory, with minimal signs of improvement and (3) Backlog of Orders Index improving for the third straight month but remaining at low levels. The Customers’ Inventories Index reading indicated appropriate buyer/supplier tension, which is neutral to slightly positive for future production. Output/Consumption (measured by the Production and Employment indexes) was positive, with a combined 5.8-percentage point upward impact on the Manufacturing PMI® calculation. Panelists’ companies stabilized production compared to July and continued to manage head counts, primarily through attrition. Inputs — defined as supplier deliveries, inventories, prices and imports — continued to accommodate future demand growth. The Supplier Deliveries Index indicated faster deliveries for the 11th straight month, and the Inventories Index remained in contraction territory as panelists’ companies continued to mitigate inventories exposure. The Prices Index remained in ‘decreasing’ territory but increased a respectable 5.8 percentage points, signifying near price stability. Sentiment improved regarding manufacturing lead times, although they remain at elevated levels.