Purchasing managers say manufacturing holding its own
September 5, 2006,
Tempe, Arizona -- The U.S. manufacturing sector remained stuck in neutral during August, as a key gauge of activity dipped slightly, and the rate of manufacturing growth slowed after perking up somewhat in July.
"The major concerns in manufacturing at this point are the continued upward pricing pressure that has existed for the past 13 months, and some industries are experiencing a degree of inventory buildup," said Norbert Ore, chairman of the Manufacturing Business Survey Committee of the Institute for Supply Management.
The Key Prices Index subsided in August to a level of 73.0 from 78.5 the month before. Any reading over the benchmark level of 50 indicates growth, while anything beneath a level of 50 indicates contraction.
A measure of customers' inventories increased by 1.5%, to a level of 46.0 from 44.5. The New Orders Index slipped by 1.9% to a reading of 54.2, and the Production Index cooled by 1.0% to 56.6 from 57.6 in July.
Providing some relief, the Employment Index climbed by 3.3%, to 54.0% from 50.7%. In more good news, the Exports Index jumped up by 3.8% to
55.7 from 51.9, while the rate of imports growth slowed by 3.5% to a level of 54.0 from 57.5.
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