This week the Markit Manufacturing PMI came in at 50.9, the official ISM manufacturing index came in 54.2% and the Factory orders reports came in rising 6.2%. The first two reports were for July and the last for June. All were strong numbers. In the ISM any number above 50 means expansion and below contraction. For the orders report the expectation was for a 4.6% rise.
However, we must put these numbers in context. They are coming from a low point so rising from that point does not mean these numbers say our economy is stronger than it was before COVID. All they are telling us is that they are recovering from the shutdown. How strong will that recovery be will be reflected in GDP numbers, unemployment rate, and sales and income figures? When they match or beat the numbers before COVID than you know the economy is back.