According to data released by IHS Markit, manufacturers noted improvement in operating conditions midway through the third quarter, as highlighted by the IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index. The index posted a reading of 53.6 in August, up from 50.9 in July. The overall rate of improvement was the fastest since January 2019 and is over 17 points higher than the pandemic low of 36.1 in April.
The upturn, the fourth straight monthly advance, was driven by quicker expansions in output and new orders. Of note was also the jump in order backlogs, which registered its highest level since October 2009, a sign that we could expect further output gains in the coming months.