Manufacturing Growth Slows To A Crawl

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TEMPE, Ariz., Aug. 1 (UPI) — U.S. manufacturing activity slowed further in July, making gains, but at a slow pace, the Institute of Supply Management said Monday.

The headline index (the Purchasing Manager’s Index) dropped from 55.3 in June to 50.9, just above 50, which is the dividing line between growth and contraction.

The institute said 10 of 18 manufacturing groups showed growth, with the strongest performances in paper products, furniture and related products, computer and electronics and transportation equipment.

July marked the 24th consecutive month of growth in manufacturing. But it brought a reversal for new orders, which dropped to 49.2 from 51.6.

The production index fell from 54.5 to 52.3, while the inventory index fell into the red, dropping from 54.1 to 49.3. Prices continued to escalate but at a slower pace, the price index dropping from 68 to 59.

The employment index dropped from 59.9 to 53.5, showing growth for the 22nd consecutive month but with hiring less robust.

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