For the second consecutive month, the manufacturing industry expanded as the overall economy grew for the 50th consecutive month, according to the latest Manufacturing Report on Business. The July “PMI” registered at 55.4 percent, an increase of 4.5 percentage points from the prior month, indicating expansion in manufacturing.  This number reflects the sixth month of growth, and the highest PMI reading of 2013.

The Employment Index also had a significant increase from June of 5.7 percentage points, from 48.7 percent to 54.4 percent.  This reading indicates a return to expansion in employment.

Thirteen of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in July, led by Furniture & Related Products, Textile Mills, and Printing & Related Support Activities.  This sign of growing industries continues to leave respondents optimistic about the near future, noting the first of 2013 is better than in 2012.

One respondent of miscellaneous manufacturing stated, “Business conditions remain stable, possibly improving somewhat in future months.”