U.S. Manufacturing Growth Remains Strong: ISM Index

American manufacturers turned in another solid month in July amid steady growth in production, orders and employment, according to figures from the Institute for Supply Management released Tuesday.

The ISM manufacturing index fell 1.4 points to 56.3, in line with estimates and well above the break-even 50 level. The employment gauge cooled to 55.2 from 57.2. ISM's gauge of new orders eased to 60.4 from 63.5.

Key Takeaways

While the ISM index settled back from a June level that was the second-highest since 2011, it remains above the average over the past year, as are its three main gauges. The figures signal that optimism about the economy is enduring among American businesses even as prospects dissipate for swift changes on tax and infrastructure policy from Washington lawmakers.


Goods producers are sustaining progress that's been building since 2015. Steady U.S. consumer and business demand, along with a recovering global economy, are allowing manufacturing to hit its stride.

A pickup in the ISM's prices-paid index indicates more factories also reported paying higher prices for inputs and raw materials last month, also a reflection of improving world demand.

The exports orders index fell 2 points to 57.5. The Production index cooled to 60.6 from 62.4. The order backlogs measure fell to 55 from 57. The prices paid index popped 7 points to 62.

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