According to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business, activity in the manufacturing sector in the United States expanded for the 32nd straight month for the period ending in August 2015. The report, which was issued by the chair of the Institute for Supply Management Bradley J. Holcomb, indicated that activity in the general economy also grew for the 75th straight month during the same period of time.
The report went on to indicate that the PMI in August registered 51.1 percent, which was a decrease of over 1.5 points from the reading during July 2015. The New Orders Index registered a similar decline of 4.8 percentage points to 51.7 percent The New Orders Index had registered 56.5 percent in July.
The report would also go on to indicate that there were 10 different industries in manufacturing that reported growth for the period ending in August. These included but were not limited to Textile Mills, Nonmetallic Mineral Products, Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products, Fabricated Metal Products, Machinery and more. There were six total industries that reported a contraction during the same period of time, which included but were not limited to Electrical Equipment, Computer & Electronic Products, Transportation Equipment and more.
Generally speaking, respondents had a lot to say regarding the types of activities that were going on in the manufacturing sector. These comments helped to shed a valuable context on what was happening and why. Paper Products indicated that they "are oversold," for example, which is something that could have significant implications moving forward. Transportation Equipment respondents indicated that "modest growth" allowed them to stay "slightly ahead" of the gross domestic product. While it's true that this is positive, they were remaining cautiously optimistic for the remainder of the year due to the fact that they have little to no international exposure.
Miscellaneous Manufacturing respondents were also positive, saying that the decreased prices of raw materials around the world were going to have a favorable impact on their business in both the short and long-term periods. Most of the other people who responded to the survey were similarly optimistic.