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Economy in Brief

ISM Factory Index Fell About As Expected
by Tom Moeller September 1, 2004

The Purchasing Managers’ Composite Index (PMI), released by the Institute of Supply Management, fell to 59.0 last month. The decline from 62.0 in July was about in line with Consensus expectations for a reading of 60.0.

During the last twenty years there has been a 70% correlation between the level of the Composite Index and the three month growth in factory sector industrial production.

Each of the Composite Index components declined m/m with the exception of inventories, up slightly to 51.7. The decline in new orders (61.2) was paced by a sharp decline in the export orders index to the lowest level since last September .

The employment index (55.7) still suggested growth in factory sector hiring but at the slowest rate since January.

The prices paid index recovered all of the prior month's decline.

ISM Manufacturing Survey Aug July Aug '03 2003 2002 2001
Composite Index 59.0 62.0 55.0 53.3 52.4 43.9
  New Orders Index 61.2 64.7 60.4 58.1 56.6 46.1
Prices Paid Index (NSA) 81.5 77.0 53.0 59.6 57.6 42.9
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