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US manufacturers expanded in June but more slowly

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 1, 2014 at 10:35 am •  Published: July 1, 2014
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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing grew in June for the 13th straight month. But the pace of the expansion slowed from May.

The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its manufacturing index dipped to 55.3 in June from 55.4 in May. Any reading higher than 50 signals that manufacturing is growing.

The trade group of purchasing managers said that orders rose at a faster pace last month compared with May. But growth in production and exports slowed. A measure of employment shows that factories added jobs for the 12th straight month; the pace of hiring last month was the same as in May.

Fifteen of 18 manufacturing industries grew in June, led by furniture makers and mineral producers. Textile, chemical, and plastics and rubber manufacturing contracted in June.

Last week, the Commerce Department reported that orders for U.S. durable goods fell 1 percent in May, dragged down by a drop in demand for military equipment. Excluding defense-related goods, orders rose. And in a good sign for future business investment, orders for core capital goods rose 0.7 percent.

Increased spending by businesses would give the economy some momentum after it got off to a bad start this year: The U.S. economy shrank at a 2.9 percent annual rate from January through March. But economists blame the first-quarter drop on an unusually bitter winter and a sharp reduction in businesses' inventories. They expect economic growth to rebound to an annual pace of 3 percent the second half of 2014.

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