US manufacturing economic expansion cooled in July from the month before, as growth in new orders, production and employment eased, the Institute for Supply Management said today.
The Tempe, AZ-based group said its PMI, which measures economic activity in manufacturing, slipped to 56.3%, down from June’s 57.8%, according to a monthly report. It was the 11th straight month of growth.
Still, 15 of 18 industries reported expansion. They included plastics and rubber products, fabricated metal products, machinery, miscellaneous manufacturing, primary metals and transportation equipment.
The ISM report is based on a survey of 350 purchasing and supply executives. A reading above 50% indicates expansion and below 50% contraction. The PMI has averaged 54.7% the past 12 months and 56.4% for the first seven months of 2017. The index hasn’t been below 50% since August. The June PMI of 57.8% was the highest of the past 12 months.
Three related indexes mirrored the PMI — still expanding but at slower rates compared with the month before.
New Orders, Output Remain Strong
The institute’s New Orders Index was 60.4%, still strong but down from June’s red hot 63.5%. The institute said 14 of 18 industries reported increases in new orders, including primary metals, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, miscellaneous manufacturing and machinery. Only one industry, apparel, reported a decline in orders.
The Production Index was 60.6% in July, down from 62.4% the month before. Fourteen industries reported output gains, including transportation equipment, machinery, miscellaneous manufacturing, primary metals and fabricated metal products. Only one industry, textiles, reported production cuts.
The Employment Index declined to 55.2% last month from 57.2% in June. Eleven industries reported job gains, including fabricated metal products, miscellaneous manufacturing, transportation equipment and machinery. Three industry reported job cuts, including primary metals.