WASHINGTON – U.S. factories grew at a slower pace in July, but American industry remains healthy.
The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index slipped last month to 58.1 from 60.2 in June. Anything over 50 signals growth, and U.S. manufacturing is on a 23-month winning streak. Seventeen of 18 manufacturing industries expanded in July, led by textile mills and makes of electronic equipment, appliances and components.
New orders, production and new export orders all grew more slowly in July. Factories stepped up hiring last month.
Manufacturers are coping with labor shortages and supply disruptions connected to ongoing trade disputes with China, Canada, Mexico and Europe.
But the overall U.S. economy expanded in the second quarter at a 4.1 percent annual pace, fastest since 2014.