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Financial News: U.S. Manufacturing Index Drops To Lowest Level Since

U.S. Manufacturing Index Drops To Lowest Level Since October 2016

07/01/2019 - 10:23:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Reflecting concerns about trade and the global economy, the Institute for Supply Management released a report on Monday showing a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in U.S. manufacturing activity in the month of June.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index edged down to 51.7 in June after slipping to 52.1 in May, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to dip to 51.0.

With the continued decrease, the index dropped to its lowest level since hitting a matching reading in October of 2016.

"Comments from the panel reflect continued expanding business strength, but at soft levels; June was the third straight month with slowing PMI expansion," said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

"Respondents expressed concern about U.S.-China trade turbulence, potential Mexico trade actions and the global economy," he added. "Overall, sentiment this month is evenly mixed."

The modest slowdown in manufacturing growth came as new orders were unchanged following 41 consecutive months of growth, with the new orders index dropping to 50.0 in June from 52.7 in May.

Meanwhile, the report said the production index climbed to 54.1 in June from 51.3 in May, indicating an acceleration in the pace of growth.

The employment index also crept up 54.5 in June from 53.7 in June, with Fiore noting comments were "predominantly 'pro hire' in support of capacity expansion, replacing retiring workers and adding summer help."

On the inflation front, the ISM said the prices index tumbled to 47.9 in June from 53.2 in May, pointing to the first contraction in prices since February.

"Shortages and price increases remain in electronic components and food ingredients; they are offset by copper, steel, energy and aluminum price declines," said Fiore.

The ISM is scheduled to release a separate report on activity in the U.S. service sector in the month of June on Wednesday.

The non-manufacturing index is expected to edge down to 56.0 in June after climbing to 56.9 in May, with a reading above 50 indicating service sector growth.

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