The Institute for Supply Management’s closely watched PMI Index of national manufacturing activity climbed to 61.3 in August, an increase of 3.2 points from July and the highest reading in over 14 years (May 2004). The PMI beat market expectations of 57.6 which would have been a decrease of 0.5 points. New Orders, Production, Employment and a number of other constituent indices were up. However, Prices, New Export Orders and Imports all fell slightly. Only the Primary Metals and Wood Products sectors reported contraction in August. See the full report here.