US manufacturing increased in July but at slower pace

Business

Debbie Wademan, production supervisor, cuts the stars to proper length to make American flags at North American Manufacturing on June 28, 2021 in Scranton, Pa. Since 2016, the staff at North American Manufacturing on Barring Avenue has meticulously produced about 8,000 full-size American flags each year, which are sold to the Defense Logistics Agency and awarded to government retirees. (Jason Farmer/The Times-Tribune via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth in U.S. manufacturing slowed in July amid ongoing supply-chain problems.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity declined by 1.1 percentage points to a reading of 59.5. The index stood at 60.6 in June.

Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the manufacturing sector. July was the 14th consecutive month manufacturing has grown after contracting in April 2020 when the coronavirus triggered nationwide business shutdowns.

But the July reading showed slower growth in new orders and production. Manufacturers have struggled in recent months with supply-chain bottlenecks that have made it difficult for them to get computer chips and other necessary components for their products.

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