The overall economy grew for the ninety-ninth straight time, the Institute for Supply Management reported Friday.

According to the ISM's monthly report on business, the ISM index increased to 58.8 in August from 56.3 in July.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted the index would be 56.6.

An index reading below 50 signals a slowing economy, while a level above 50 suggests expansion. A reading of 50 shows the sector was unchanged in the month.

The prices paid index remained at 62.0. The employment index grew to 59.9 from 55.2.

The production index gained to 61.0 from 60.6, the new orders index dipped to 60.3 from 60.4; the supplier deliveries index rose to 57.1 from 55.4; the export orders index decreased to 55.5 from 57.5; and the imports index slipped to 54.5 from 56.0.

The inventories index gained to 55.5 from 50.0; the customers' inventories index fell to 41.0 from 49.0; and backlog of orders increased to 57.5 from 55.0.

Respondents' comments included:

  • “Steady demand across businesses.” (Chemical Products)
  • “Demand for light construction equipment continues strong; usually at this time of year, demand slackens.” (Machinery)
  • “Overall very steady; starting to pick up as expected.” (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • “Overall optimism about the market, both for 2017 and 2018.” (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
  • “Business has strengthened over the summer, beyond [the] same period last year.” (Paper Products)
  • “Busy production month for August.” (Textile Mills)
  • “Sales remain strong month-to-month.” (Transportation Equipment)
  • “Slightly higher order intake.” (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
  • “Order board is very strong [right] now.” (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • “Business is steady and strong.” (Furniture & Related Products)

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.