News Column

Manufacturing Index Shows Growth Slowing Slightly

Sept. 3, 2013
Manufacturing Index

A final estimate of U.S. manufacturing activity showed business growth slowing from July to August, Markit Economics said Monday.

The index that uses 50 as a break even point came in at 53.1 in August from 53.7 in July. In a previous flash report, the estimate for August showed slight growth with the index then pegged at 53.9.

Monday's report is considered a final estimate with all of the pertinent data for the report available at this point.

Markit said the index for production showed a slower rate of expansion with the measure at 52.5 in August from 54.8 in July. New orders showed slightly faster growth with that index at 55.7 in August, up from 55.5 in July.

The new export orders slowed with the measure at 52, down from 52.5. Import prices showed growth at 56.2, but at a slower rate than July, when the import prices index came in at 57.8.

"The downturn in the headline PMI is a disappointment, suggesting that there is a risk that the goods producing sector is stalling. However, a more encouraging picture emerges if we look at the details. In particular, inflows of new orders -- a useful guide to future production -- are growing at the fastest rate for seven months," said Markit chief economist Chris Williamson.

"At the same time, inventories of finished goods showed the largest fall since 2009 as some companies reported that demand often exceeded production. Factories will need to ramp up production to replace depleted inventories given this order book growth," he said in a statement.

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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