Economic activity in the overall manufacturing sector in the United States contracted in August 2012, just the third month of contraction since July 2009, while the overall economy grew for the 39th consecutive month, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.
Eight manufacturing industry segments reported growth in August. Eight segments, including the Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components segment, reported contraction in August.
"The PMI registered 49.6%, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from July's reading of 49.8%, indicating contraction in the manufacturing sector for the third consecutive month," said Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "This is also the lowest reading for the PMI since July 2009. The New Orders Index registered 47.1%, a decrease of 0.9 percentage point from July, indicating contraction in new orders for the third consecutive month. The Production Index registered 47.2%, a decrease of 4.1 percentage points and indicating contraction in production for the first time since May 2009. The Employment Index remained in growth territory at 51.6%, but registered its lowest reading since November 2009 when the Employment Index registered 51%. The Prices Index increased 14.5 percentage points from its July reading to 54%. Comments from the panel generally reflect a slowdown in orders and demand, with continuing concern over the uncertain state of global economies."
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