Manufacturing activity increased last month in a nine-state region that includes Missouri and Kansas, a survey of purchasing managers showed.
An index generated from the survey results edged higher to 53.8 in August from 53.5 in July. A reading higher than 50 indicates manufacturing is expanding.
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A similar national index also expanded, reaching 55.7 in August from 55.4 in July. The Institute for Supply Management’s report showed a third consecutive monthly increase, and the index has been in growth territory, higher than 50, for 51 consecutive months.
It was the regional index’s first increase since March, and it suggests the economy will continue to grow through the end of this year, said Ernie Goss, director of the economic forecasting group at Creighton University, which did the survey.
Goss also said in the university’s report that inflationary pressures rose in the survey and that purchasing managers expect a 4.6 percent increase in the prices of items they will buy in the coming year. The national index also saw an increase in its price readings.
“I am concerned that this may be the first signal that the period of benign inflation is over,” Goss said.
Creighton’s survey reading for Kansas showed expansion, with an index of 60.0 in August from 57.3 in July. Its index for Missouri dipped to 53.6 in August from 55.7 in July, though it continued to show expansion in manufacturing activity.