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August 2, 2013

PMI in U.S. at highest level in two years; Global PMI up slightly, ACC says

Scott Jenkins

The Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Manager’s Index) for the U.S. rose by 4.5 points in July to 55.4, its highest level in two years, according to data from the Institute for Supply Management that was included in the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC: Washington, D.C.; latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report. The rise in PMI for July is a “sign that business conditions in the manufacturing sector are improving,” ACC said. The PMI is a diffusion index, where a reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
Two components of the index, new orders and production, rose sharply, ACC said, while the price component slipped. Thirteen of the 18 industry sectors included in the PMI reported growth, including furniture, textiles, printing, wood products, non-metallic minerals, electrical equipment, appliances, computers, food and beverages, primary metals, transportation equipment, chemicals and fabricated metal products.
Meanwhile, the JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI rose 0.2 percentage points to 50.8, “signaling that growth remained lackluster in July,” ACC said.
Elsewhere, equity prices for chemical companies, as shown by the S&P shemicals index were up 5.7% in July, compared to a 4.9% gain by the wider S&P 500. The S&P chemicals index was up 13.1% since the beginning of the year, while the S&P 500 index was up 18.2% this year.
Assessing the week’s economic reports overall, ACC called them “mixed,” but added that on balance, the data show a continued slow economic recovery.

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