By April Mays

Manufacturing Sector UpdateThe manufacturing sector expanded for the third consecutive month as the overall economy experienced its 51st consecutive month of growth in August 2013, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s most recent Manufacturing Report on Business.

Highlighted this month is the fast growth in new orders, increasing by 4.9% from 58.3% to 63.2%.  The August PMI registered at 55.7%, a continued increase from the prior month, indicating expansion in manufacturing.

Fifteen of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in August, led by Textile Mills, Wood Products, and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.  Two of the 18 manufacturing industries reported no change in growth, and only one industry, Miscellaneous Manufacturing reported contraction.

Respondents remain cautiously optimistic, saying business is “slowing down slightly, but still stronger than last year by 20 percent.”