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Business Operations

Manufacturing Activity Rebounds, Reaching its Highest Level in a Year

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In some good news, an Institute for Supply Management survey released on Monday showed U.S. manufacturing activity reaching its highest level in more than a year, according to Reuters.

  • The index of national factory activity reached 54.2 in July—up from 52.6 in June. A reading above 50 indicates growth.
  • New orders increased to 61.5 from 56.4 in June—the highest since September 2018.

But don’t break out the party hats yet. The resurgence in COVID-19 across the United States could halt manufacturers in their tracks, which is why face coverings and other precautions remain critical.

Meanwhile, we’re seeing a reduction in construction spending, which dropped 0.7% in June after decreasing 1.7% in May. More discouraging numbers included the following:

  • 0.7% drop in spending on private construction
  • 1.5% loss in spending on residential projects
  • 0.7% drop in spending on public construction projects

NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray has the numbers for manufacturers: “After declining for six straight months, private manufacturing construction spending rose 1.7% from $70.86 billion in May to $72.07 billion in June.”

Related: In another milestone, New York City retail rent fell below $700 for the first time since 2011, according to CNBC. With fewer people shopping in retail environments, rents are dropping, and retail stores are reevaluating the way they serve the public.

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