Manufacturing growth continued for the 24th straight month in July, but at a slower pace than earlier this summer, according to the most recent numbers from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).
The Purchasing Managers Index dropped by more than 4% in July, ISM data indicates, pointing to growth in the sector but at a slower rate than in the month of June. New orders were down for the first time in more than two years, while production and employment numbers rose.
Overall, 10 manufacturing industries grew in July, while 7 saw combined numbers fall. Industries with the most significant growth:
- paper products
- furniture and related products
- computer and electronic products, and
- transportation equipment.
Industries that shrank include:
- apparel, leather and allied products
- plastics and rubber products, and
- textile mills.
Most industries attributed the slowed growth to expected summer declines. Others said the uncertainty of the U.S. economic situation — specifically the debt ceiling debate — lowered manufacturing confidence and reduced growth.