02 September 2003 | Gareth Mytton
Activity in the US manufacturing sector grew in August for the second consecutive month, according to the latest PMI figures from the Institute for Supply Management.
The "Manufacturing ISM Report on Business" recorded a PMI of 54.7, above the 50 figure that generally indicates no change on the previous month. The new orders index, which rose to 59.6 from 56.6 in July, and the production index, up to 61.6 from 58.3, remained above 50 for the fourth consecutive month.
Norbert Ore, chair of the ISM's manufacturing business survey committee, said: "The continuation of a second-half recovery appears on track."
Nineteen per cent of US purchasing executives said prices had gone up on the month, and only 13 per cent reported a fall, even though natural gas prices had stabilised. Material imports also rose. The only item in short supply was sulphuric acid.
Purchasers' and customers' inventories continued to shrink, and companies continued to shed staff in most sectors.