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Manufacturing steadies July purchasing index

Tempe , Ariz. -- A key measure of strength in the manufacturing sector showed unexpected strength during July, and the nation's purchasing managers said their monthly gauge of activity in the nation's factories rose by 0.9% to a reading of 54.7.

Activity rallied during July after falling off during the two previous months, aided by a pickup in production that followed a spurt in new orders in June, the Institute of Supply Management(ISM) reported. The Production component of the monthly index climbed by 2.5% to a current reading of 56.1.

Caution is still in order, as New Orders, after ticking up in June, dipped by 1.8% in July. The backlog of orders declined by 3.5%. Meanwhile the Prices component of the monthly index climbed by 2.0% to a level of 78.5 after subsiding somewhat in June.

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