United States manufacturing improved again in July with a key gauge of activity rising further into expansion territory. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index rose to 54.2 last month, up from a June reading of 52.6. Any reading above 50 signals that U.S. manufacturing is expanding.
Manufacturing production rebounded for the third straight month, rising by 3.4% in July. Despite progress over the past few months, output in the sector has fallen 7.7% year-over-year, with durable and nondurable goods output down 9.3% and 5.4%, respectively. Manufacturing capacity utilization rose 69.2% in July, although that is still down from 75.2% in February.
There were 336,000 manufacturing job openings in June, up from 306,000 in May, which had been the slowest pace since October 2016. Overall, job postings have drifted significantly lower over the past year-a trend that began before the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, there were 486,000 and 360,000 job openings