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ISM Manufacturing PMI Flat in August as Bottlenecks Ease

Published 02/09/2022, 12:36 am
© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com -- U.S. manufacturing expanded for the 27th month in a row in August, defying fears that the economy may be headed for a recession under the impact of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes. 

The Institute for Supply Management's monthly purchasing managers index remained flat at 52.8, a level it has now stuck at for three months. That suggests that the loss of economic momentum seen earlier in the year is flattening out. 

The survey was notable for a surprise increase in new orders as companies' pricing power began to wane. The PMI's orders subindex rose for the first time in three months, to 51.3 from 48.0. That went hand in hand with a sharp fall in the PMI's prices subindex from 60.0 to 52.5, its lowest since July 2020.

"Prices expansion eased dramatically in August, which — when coupled with lead times easing — should bring buyers back into the market, improving new order levels," ISM Chair Timothy Fiore said in a statement.

The figures also pointed to an improved employment outlook after three months in which businesses had indicated a higher rate of lay-offs. 

"Companies continued to hire at strong rates in August, with few indications of layoffs, hiring freezes or head-count reductions through attrition," Fiore said. 

The employment subindex rose from 49.9 to 54.2, its highest in five months. 

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