Today, the Institute for Supply Management released their latest Report on Business for the manufacturing sector indicating that manufacturing activity slowed in August.
At 49.6 the purchasing manager’s composite index (PMI) rose 0.40% since July remaining 5.52% below the level seen a year earlier.
Respondents appear to have completed a significant about-face from the optimistic views expressed earlier in the year as they indicated that "slowing" is now the best description of manufacturing activity:
"Internal indicators and feedback from sales channels are indicating a slowdown in demand for capital equipment." (Machinery)
"Business continues to be very solid, but there is now a slowing of incoming orders." (Fabricated Metal Products)
"Incoming orders have slowed somewhat, but indications are that there will be a stronger fourth quarter." (Plastics & Rubber Products)
"Business is slow right now. Companies seem to be holding onto their money." (Computer & Electronic Products)
"We can sense, feel and see headwinds with customer orders, especially Europe related." (Apparel, Leather & Allied Products)
"New orders and backlog remain flat." (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
"Auto industry slowing a bit in the second half [of the year]." (Transportation Equipment)
"U.S. drought severely impacting raw materials prices." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
"Lackluster demand continues in all regions of the world, and is supporting much lower raw materials prices in the second half of 2012." (Chemical Products)