The Institute for Supply Management's August manufacturing report confirmed what most in sector already know: the manufacturing economy is continuing to soften. The ISM's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) contracted for the third consecutive month to 49.6% in August from 49.8% in July, making this a relatively slow summer in manufacturing.
The ISM also noted that this marks "the lowest reading for the PMI since July 2009." Also contracting is the New Orders Index, which decreased 0.9% to 47.1% from July, the third consecutive month that New Orders have contracted. The Production Index took a drop of 4.1% from July's 51.3% to 47.2% in August. Of the 18 manufacturing industries that the ISM tracks, only eight registered growth....