The rebound in manufacturing is now a year old, but growth continues to slow, according to a leading index released Aug. 2 by the Institute of Supply Management. ISM’s composite PMI, which incorporates various elements of manufacturing such as production, orders and inventories, stood at 55.5% in July, meaning that the manufacturing sector was still growing but at a slightly slower pace than in June.
“July marks 12 consecutive months of growth in manufacturing, and indications are that demand is still quite strong in 10 of 18 industries,” says Norbert Ore, chairman of ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Employment, supplier deliveries and inventories improved during the month and reduced the impact of a month-over-month deceleration in new orders and production.” Growth in new orders and production was down 5 points and 4.4, respectively, but they remain well above the 50% threshold between expansion and contraction.
The 10 manufacturing industries reporting growth in July were plastics & rubber products; miscellaneous manufacturing; paper products; electrical equipment, appliances & components; transportation equipment; primary metals; textile mills; computer & electronic products; fabricated metal products; and chemical products.