Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in July for the 31st consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 74th consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business issued Aug. 3.

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.

Comments from the panel of supply executives reflect a combination of optimism mixed with uncertainties about international markets and the impacts of the continuing decline in oil prices, said Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

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The July PMI (Purchasing Manager’s Index) registered 52.7 percent, 0.8 percentage point below the June reading of 53.5 percent.

The New Orders Index registered 56.5 percent, a 0.5 percentage point above the reading of 56 percent in June.

The Production Index registered 56 percent, 2 percentage points above the June reading of 54 percent.

The Employment Index registered 52.7 percent, 2.8 percentage points below the June reading of 55.5 percent, reflecting growing employment levels from June but at a slower rate.

Inventories of raw materials registered 49.5 percent, a decrease of 3.5 percentage points from the June reading of 53 percent.

The Prices Index registered 44 percent, down 5.5 percentage points from the June reading of 49.5 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices for the ninth consecutive month.

Of the 18 U.S. manufacturing industries, 11 are reporting growth in July in the following order: Textile Mills; Paper Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Furniture & Related Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Transportation Equipment; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing.

The five industries reporting contraction in July are: Wood Products; Primary Metals; Plastics & Rubber Products; Chemical Products; and Machinery.

ISM U.S. Manufacturing Report

Source: Institute for Supply Management