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Economic Snapshot: Record breaking numbers for ISM manufacturing, non-manufacturing indexes

By Brianna Liestman

The positive outlook from last month’s Institute for Supply Management reports continues into August with their latest readings, indicating further strength building for the economy.

The ISM manufacturing index rose to 59.0 percent in August, up from 57.1 in July and reporting at its highest level since March 2011.

The production index jumped 3.3 percentage points from July to 64.5, its highest reading since May 2010, and exports increased two points to 55.0 from 53.0. The new orders index rose to 66.7, a significant increase after it reported 63.4 percent in July from 58.9 in June. It is now at its highest level since April 2004.

The employment index remained steady, at 58.1 percent from 58.2 in July, which was the highest reading since June 2011. The inventory index climbed to 52.0 percent from 48.5 in the previous month.

On the non-manufacturing side, we are seeing record breaking numbers. The ISM non-manufacturing index rose to 59.6 percent in August, up from 58.7 in July and the highest reading for the index since its inception in January 2008.

The business activity index increased to 65 percent, a 2.6 percent jump from the previous month. This is the 61st consecutive month of growth and the highest reading since 2004. The employment index rose 1.1 percentage points to 57.1 in August, the sixth consecutive month of growth.

Economists are pleased with both reports, as the readings exceeded expectations.

ADP employment report 

Private employment added 204,000 jobs in August, according to the ADP National Employment Report. This is a small decrease from the 212,000 jobs added in July. Small and medium businesses saw the largest jump last month, adding 78,000 and 75,000 jobs respectively. Large businesses added 52,000 jobs.

The report marks the fifth consecutive month of employment gains above 200,000. In August 2013, 190,000 jobs were added.

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