The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) PMI index of national manufacturing activity for August came in at 52.8, identical to July’s reading, which beat consensus estimates of 52.0 from economists polled by Reuters (a reading above 50.0 is indicative of expansion). This performance is significantly better than the latest NYS numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of NY which showed significant manufacturing contraction statewide. According to ISM, “Prices expansion eased dramatically in August, which — when coupled with lead times easing — should bring buyers back into the market, improving new order levels. Sentiment remained optimistic regarding demand, with five positive growth comments for every cautious comment. Panelists continue to express unease about a softening economy, with 18 percent of comments noting concern about order book contraction.” See the full report here.