According to the July 2015 Manufacturing ISM Report on Business, economic activity in the United States' manufacturing sector expanded for the 31st straight month. The overall economy of the country expanded for the 74th straight month during the same period of time.
Bradley J. Holcomb, Chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, issued the report. In also indicated that the July PMI came in at 52.7 percent, which represented a slight decrease of 0.8 percentage points under the 53.5 percent reading from June 2015. The New Orders Index came in at 56.5 percent, however, which itself represented an increase of 0.5 points over the 56 percent reading from June of 2015.
Out of the 18 different manufacturing industries in the United States, a full 11 of them reported some type of growth during the period of the year ending in July. These industries included but were not limited to things like paper products, printing and related support activities, furniture and related products, electrical equipment, appliances and components, beverage and tobacco products, transportation equipment and more. There were only five industries that reported some type of contraction in July, which were wood products, machinery, chemical products, primary metals and plastics and rubber products.
A number of respondents were able to shed light on the context behind these numbers. Experts from the food, beverage and tobacco products industry indicated that fears of Avian Influenza in the poultry industry were causing significant harm to exports both home and abroad. Fabricated metal products indicated that the market was in a normal summer slowdown period, which would hopefully pick up steam sooner rather than later. Not all of the news was necessarily bad, however.
Respondents from the fabricated metal products industry stated that global orders were still holding up in July 2015, despite certain international uncertainties. Paper products respondents also indicated that there was an abundance of container board in the global markets, which was leading to significant advantages moving forward. Furniture and related products respondents also indicated that business overall continued to be strong and would remain so for the near future.