The seasonally adjusted Milwaukee index increased to 54 in August from a downwardly revised 44 in July, according to the Institute for Supply Management-Milwaukee.

New orders grew to 59 from 45, production rose to 56 from 45, backlog climbed to 51 from 38, and supplier lead times fell to 47 from 55.

Blue-collar employment increased to 42 from 33, while white-collar employment gained to 47 from 42. Inventory levels rose to 37 from 33 and capital equipment purchases grew to 50 from 48.

The prices paid index increased to 60 from 47, with 19 categories rising in price, one falling and one holding steady. By value, 16 are higher than 50, four are at 50, and one is less than 50.

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