Southeastern Wisconsin manufacturing activity dipped for a second straight month in August, according to the latest Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing.
The report’s Milwaukee-area PMI registered a seasonally adjusted 55.41 in August, down from 56.98 in July and 58.68 in June.
The August reading was the lowest of the year, but it is still well into positive territory. A reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.
The August report also included declines in new orders, employment, supplier deliveries, customer inventories, order backlog and imports.
The white collar employment index increased slightly from 52.8 to 53.3, but the blue collar employment index declined from 61.6 to 50.3. Respondents said they are having difficulty recruiting qualified talent and labor availability impacted business success.
Despite labor challenge, the six-month outlook for business conditions improved. The diffusion index, which tries to account for positive and negative bias, increased from 59.09 percent to 64.71 percent. The jump was largely driven by a higher percentage expecting improved conditions, up from 31.82 percent to 41.18 percent.
The report also showed an increase in production, inventories and exports.
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