US man­u­fac­tur­ing grows at slower pace

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

THE US man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor grew again in July, mark­ing five straight months of ex­pan­sion, but at a slower pace than ex­pected.

The In­sti­tute for Sup­ply Man­age­ment said its pur­chas­ing man­ager’s index for July re­mained in pos­i­tive ter­ri­tory at 52.6, but was down from June’s strong show­ing of 53.2. Any read­ing above 50 rep­re­sents growth.

Within the index, pro­duc­tion was up 0.7 per­cent and in­ven­to­ries were up 0.1pc. But new or­ders, em­ploy­ment, prices and sup­plier de­liv­er­ies were all down.

The over­all index read­ing was be­low the 53.0 con­sen­sus but still above the 51.3 read­ing an­nounced in May, ac­cord­ing to Jim O’Sul­li­van of High Fre­quency Eco­nomics.

“In short, down a lit­tle, al­beit after a larger rise in June,” said Mr O’Sul­li­van.

“The net re­sult is still at least mod­est im­prove­ment in re­cent months.”

The num­bers come after the Com­merce Depart­ment re­leased on July 29 ane­mic num­bers for eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity, putting sec­ond-quar­ter GDP growth at 1.2pc, well be­low an­a­lysts’ ex­pec­ta­tions de­spite strong con­sumer spend­ing.

Among sur­vey re­spon­dents, non­metal­lic min­eral prod­ucts and com­put­ers and elec­tronic goods saw strong demand.

Ma­chin­ery, trans­porta­tion equip­ment and wood prod­ucts were down.

Ac­cord­ing to Michael Mont­gomery of IHS Global In­sight, the re­port sent “mixed mes­sages.”

“The first: that things may not re­ally have been as good in June as they first ap­peared,” he said. “The sec­ond mes­sage was that out­put con­tin­ued to firm, with that score ris­ing to its high­est level since Jan­uary 2015, even though it only beat March of this year by a 10th of an index point.”

“Five de­cent months fol­low­ing five weak ones shows lit­tle to­tal move­ment over time,” said Mr Mont­gomery. “The good side of the de­tails was or­ders and out­put, both sport­ing re­spectable scores.” –

Photo: EPA

Jim O'Sul­li­van sees a mod­est im­prove­ment.

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