The index of business activity grew to 61.5 from 53.1 in July, the strongest gain since February 2008 and new orders went up to six month high of 60.3 from 54.1 in July. On the price front, prices paid increased to 58.2 from 56.5. Meanwhile, employment growth slowed to an over two-year low of 53.1 from 56.2 in July. Also, the measure of export orders dropped to 50.5, the weakest since January 2017 and order backlogs contracted for the first time since December 2016.
According to the NMI®, 16 non-manufacturing industries reported growth. The non-manufacturing sector’s rate of growth rebounded after two consecutive months of cooling off. The respondents remain concerned about tariffs and geopolitical uncertainty; however, they are mostly positive about business conditions.”
The 16 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in August — listed in order — are: Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Accommodation & Food Services; Public Administration; Retail Trade; Utilities; Construction; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Other Services; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Transportation & Warehousing; Finance & Insurance; Health Care & Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Information; Mining; and Management of Companies & Support Services. The only industry reporting a decrease is Wholesale Trade.