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Manufacturing activity in the United States reached its highest level in 18 months

A survey by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that factory procurement has remained moderate for a year with about 72% of industries reporting growth last month.

The ISM says its national industrial activity rate increased to a reading of 54.2 in the last month, from 52.6 in June. It was the strongest result since March 2019 and marked two consecutive months of expansion. A reading above 50 indicates growth in manufacturing, which accounts for 11% of the U.S. economy.

The Institute for Supply Management confirmed that “sentiment was generally optimistic” among manufacturers. Continued improvement in the manufacturing industry landscape is encouraging, considering the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The same report added that 13 industries, including wood products, primary metals and electrical equipment, household appliances, and components, reported growth in July. Manufacturers of transport equipment, machinery, and metal products reported a contraction. The ISM’s sub-index of new forward orders increased to a reading of 61.5 in July, the highest since September 2018, from 56.4 in June. The measurement of the survey of backorders in factories was recovered, as did others for exports.

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