U.S. manufacturing expanded in July at the fastest pace since March 2019 as more factories boosted production in the face of firmer orders and lean inventories.
The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its manufacturing gauge increased to 54.2 last month from 52.6. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, and the latest figure exceeded the 53.6 median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
The data point to a steadier environment for producers, months after demand plummeted during the pandemic-related lockdown of the economy. Nonetheless, the pace of improvement risks moderating as the coronavirus stands in the way of a sustained quickening of demand.
Futures, late evening, Monday, August 3, 2020:
- pretty much flat, but showing green