Manufacturing was flat in July, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.
In the report, manufacturers indicated no change in overall business activity when comparing July with June. This continues a trend biased toward relatively minor contraction established more than 12 months ago, according to ISM.
While the PMI indicates little to no change has occurred during this period, it would be hard to convince manufacturers who are faced with higher costs and uncertain demand that there is little change taking place, said Norbert Ore, chairman of the ISM's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
Daniel Meckstroth, chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, said:
The ISM index indicates that manufacturing activity was flat in July -the production index was up a little but orders and backlogs declined. The sector is seeing major reductions in motor vehicles and housing-related production and many industries show little, if any, growth. Fortunately, those industries that export a large portion of their production have benefited from the falling dollar.
"Also, as the report indicates, imports are declining and this should help offset the domestic recessionary forces. Overall though, manufacturing seems to be in a mild downward drift as it battles high commodity cost pressures and domestic malaise."