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US Manufacturing Activity Weakened in August: Is Danger Ahead?

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US manufacturing PMI in August

The August final US manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) stood at 52.8 as compared to 53.3 in July. It met the preliminary market expectations of 52.5. The manufacturing PMI showed a weaker move in August 2017.

The fall in US final manufacturing PMI in August was mainly due to the following reasons:

  • Production volume rose at a weaker pace in August 2017.
  • New order growth rose at a weaker rate in August 2017.
  • Employment in the manufacturing sector also grew at a slower rate in August 2017.

The final manufacturing PMI is indicating softer business conditions for the US manufacturing sector (QQQ) (SPY). The international demand for the manufacturing industry remained weaker in August 2017. If this trend continues, it could be bad news for the economy. The manufacturing PMI showed its strongest improvement in January 2017, when it rose to 55. Since January 2017, it has shown a gradual fall.

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Performance of various ETFs in August

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), which tracks the performance of the S&P 500 Index, rose nearly 0.3% in August 2017. The PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (QQQ), which tracks the performance of the major technology stocks in the United States, rose nearly 2% in August 2017.

In the next part of this series, we’ll analyze France’s final manufacturing PMI in August 2017.

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