According to the Institute for Supply Management, the manufacturing sector in the US economy shrank during the month of August. Figures for employment, production, and new orders dropped, even after five consecutive months of growth. 
 
According to the report, the ISM purchasing managers index for August fell to 49.4, which is below the 50.0 line separating growth from contraction. In July it was 52.6. The surprising drop showed that weakness in the economy spilled over from the first half of the year into the third quarter. Manufacturers are struggle with a drop in demand and the consequences of a strong dollar.
 
However, six of 18 industries reported growth in the period. They include: food and beverages, chemical products, computers, and printing. Managers report that they are getting lots of inquiries, but few placements for orders.
 
Construction is flat, too. The Commerce Department reported that construction spending was nearly flat in July from June at an annual pace of $1.15 billion. However, from January to July, construction was up 5.6 percent over the same period in 2015. Private construction was strong, while public construction was slightly higher.

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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