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.
From left, AM Group co-workers Amaan Chaudry, of New York, Matthew Cypher, of Arlington, Va., and Mariana Rios, of New York, look at the space at 51 Bridge Street during a celebration marking the start of renovations to turn the former steel pipe manufacturing building to a 88,600 square-foot tech flex facility, Thursday, July 15, 2021, in Etna, Pa. The facility is geared to become a hub for a small number of companies focused on tech, robotics, and AI.
In this Friday, July 2, 2021, photo, press operator Zachary Carr, left, looks over a part with long-time employee Walter Rupert at Uelner Precision Tools & Dies in Dubuque, Iowa.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth in U.S. manufacturing slowed for a second straight month 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 had also slowed in June, dropping to 60.6 from a reading of 61. in May.
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.
“As we enter the third quarter, all segments of the manufacturing economy are impacted by near record-long raw-material lead times, continued shortages of critical basic materials, rising commodity prices and difficulties in transporting products” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM manufacturing survey committee.
But there are some encouraging signs in the July report that suggest the various supply-chain and labor problems are beginning to recede, Fiore said.
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