WASHINGTON – American manufacturing expanded for the third straight month in May, more evidence that U.S. factories have adjusted to a strong dollar and economic weakness overseas.
The Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index rose to 51.3 last month from 50.8 in April. Anything above 50 signals growth.
Still, new orders and production grew more slowly in May, and export orders and a measure of employment were unchanged. Twelve of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth last month, led by wood products manufacturers and textile mills.
The dollar surged last year, but has fallen since January, giving American factories some relief. A strong dollar makes U.S. goods more expensive in foreign markets.
The ISM, a trade group of purchasing managers, surveys about 200 U.S. companies each month.