Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in August for the 15th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 63rd consecutive month, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business issued Sept. 2 by the Institute for Supply Management.

The report is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide, including new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, inventories, prices, backlog of orders, exports and imports.

The August PMI (purchasing manager’s index) registered 59 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from July's reading of 57.1 percent, indicating continued expansion in manufacturing. August’s PMI reflects the highest reading since March 2011 when the index registered 59.1 percent.

The New Orders Index registered 66.7 percent, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from the 63.4 percent reading in July, indicating growth in new orders for the 15th consecutive month.

The Production Index registered 64.5 percent, 3.3 percentage points above the July reading of 61.2 percent.

The Employment Index grew for the 14th consecutive month, registering 58.1 percent, a slight decrease of 0.1 percentage point below the July reading of 58.2 percent.

Inventories of raw materials registered 52 percent, an increase of 3.5 percentage points from the July reading of 48.5 percent, indicating growth in inventories following one month of contraction.

RELATED: U.S. Manufacturing Remains Up in July While Inventories Contract & Supplier Deliveries Slow

Performance by Industry
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 17 are reporting growth in August in the following order: Plastics & Rubber Products; Furniture & Related Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Wood Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Paper Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Chemical Products; Primary Metals; Transportation Equipment; Computer & Electronic Products; Machinery; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.

The only industry reporting contraction in August is Textile Mills.

The next report featuring September 2014 data will be released Oct. 1 on the ISM website.