TEMPE, AZ -- Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in July for the 12th consecutive month, says the Institute for Supply Management (ism.ws).
The PMI measure of manufacturing activity was 55.5%, down 70 basis points. A reading above 50% indicates the manufacturing economy is generally expanding.
For the month, new orders fell 5 percentage points to 53.5%. Production decreased 4.4 points to 57%. Inventories grew 4.4 points to 50.2%, and customer inventories were up 1 point to 39%. Backlogs dropped to 54.5%, down 2.5 points.
"Manufacturing continued to grow during July, but at a slightly slower rate than in June," said ISM spokesperson Norbert J. Ore. "Employment, supplier deliveries and inventories improved during the month and reduced the impact of a month-over-month deceleration in new orders and production. July marks 12 consecutive months of growth in...