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Economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector contracted in July for the second time since July 2009, according to the purchasing managers index for manufacturing, released today by the Institute for Supply Management. The institute’s manufacturing index rose to a reading of 49.8 in July from 49.7 in June. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
The average reading for the past 12 months was 52.5, with a high of 54.8 in April 2012.
The employment portion of the index still expanded, but at a slower pace. It edged down to a reading of 52.0 in July from 56.6 in June.