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N.J. manufacturers say orders 'appear to be on the upswing'

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Manufacturing across the country grew in August, rising to its highest point of the year, according to a survey of the nation’s supply executives.

The Institute for Supply Management's Report on Business shows the purchasing managers index, or PMI, climbed to 55.7 percent in August, from 55.4 percent in July. That's the index's highest point all year.

Tom Smith, executive director of the New Jersey Tooling and Manufacturing Association, said the state seems to be enjoying some of that growth.

"Business appears to be on the upswing," Smith said. "No one's saying that it's thrilling, (that) there's tremendous growth. They're just happy that the pace is above the pace of last year."

Smith said he doesn't have hard data on the current status of Garden State manufacturers, but anecdotally, he has heard from some of NJTMA's 100 or so members and others outside the organization that the economy's overall upswing is leading to good things in the manufacturing sector. In some cases, the increase in business has left manufacturers struggling to keep pace with orders and unable or unwilling to branch out into the export market.

"Companies that were holding off on purchases are now feeling comfortable enough to order what they're going to order, and not worry so much about every little dollar," Smith said.

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