The U.S. manufacturing sector halted a four-month trend of deterioration and rebounded into growth mode at 50.2 in June, against expectations of a decline to 48.5, according to the ISM manufacturing survey released on Tuesday morning. Despite the headline advance, prices moved up to the highest level since July 1979, at 91.5, and other components were mixed.
Figures above 50 are an indication of growth in the sector; below 50 indicates slowdown. In the previous report, the headline ticked up a single point to 49.6.
New orders remained in contraction at 49.6 following a 3.2-point advance to 49.7 in the previous month, marking the seventh consecutive month of slowdown.
Production remained in growth mode at 51.5, a slightly better reading than the previous month's 51.2.
Employment deteriorated faster than in the previous month, coming in at 43.7, down from 45.5 in May and marking the eighth month in a row of cutbacks.
"While the PMI indicates minimal change is taking place month over month that is hardly the situation. When viewed from the manufacturer's perspective, they are experiencing higher prices for their inputs while demand for their products is slowing," said Norbert J. Ore, chairman of the ISM Survey Committee.
Exports, which have been the saving grace of the index in recent months, expanded at 58.5 in June following a reading of 59.5 in May, while imports remained in contraction for the fifth month in a row at 46.0, down from 49.5 in May.
Inventories rebounded from slowdown at a pace of 51.2, up from 48.0 in the prior month, while order backlogs rose to 47.5, up from 46.0 a month before.
Historically, a headline index above 41.1 the manufacturing industry is consistent with overall growth in the broader economy.
By Patrick McGee and edited by Cristina Markham