The US manufacturing sector contracted for the twelfth consecutive month in June, according to figures from the National Association of Purchasing Management.

The NAPM’s index dropped from 44.7 in June to 43.6 last month, highlighting the sector’s continuing downturn. Readings above 50 indicate an expansion in activity, those below this figure show a contraction.

The inventories index suffered a fall (40.8 to 35.8), while there was a slight rise in the production index (46.2 to 46.4), which measures work currently being undertaken. July also saw continued job losses – although the employment index increased (from 36.3 to 37.2), the reading lagged by some distance the 47.5 level associated with a rise in jobs.

Moreover, the imminent future does not look rosy: the new orders index, measuring forthcoming factory orders, dropped from 48.6 to 46.3.

“It’s still apparent the industrial sector is bouncing along the bottom,” commented Dr Tom Duesterberg, president and chief executive of the Manufacturers Alliance, “and the only thing carrying the economy is the consumer.”

News source: Financial Times