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ISM: Manufacturing improves in August

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(Read caption) This chart shows the Institute for Supply Management's PMI Composite Index since 1999. Activity rebounded after the Great Recession, but fell again in 2011.

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Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Report on Business for the manufacturing sector indicating that manufacturing activity improved in August.

At 55.7 the purchasing manager’s composite index (PMI) rose 0.54% since July and climbed 9.86% above the level seen a year earlier giving an indication of improving conditions for manufacturing.

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Respondent assessments still appear to be hopeful though overall assessments appear to indicate emerging weakness: 

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"Slight improvements in both domestic and international sales." (Fabricated Metal Products)

"Business is slowing down, not sure why — but we may end up below last year's sales levels, whereas we had forecast 6.5 percent growth." (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

"Material prices continue to be favorable; business is steady." (Paper Products)

"Slowing down slightly, but still stronger than last year by 20 percent." (Furniture & Related Products)

"Military slowdown affecting business." (Computer & Electronic Products)

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"Summer seasonal businesses are doing well after a late start." (Printing & Related Support Activities)

"Still not seeing the year we had expected. Cautious about the balance of 2013." (Machinery)

"Tight government spending still affecting business." (Transportation Equipment)

"With improved weather outlook in the central states, agricultural prices are relaxing year over year." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)

"We have benefitted from the Yen; seeing a 20 percent decrease in material costs from 2012 to 2013." (Chemical Products)