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US manufacturing grows for 13th straight month

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US manufacturing grew again in June, but at a slower rate than in May, according to the latest figures.

AP reports that the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) broad Purchasing Managers Index for June was 55.3, a slight drop on the May figure of 55.4. Still, it was comfortably above 50, the point which separates expansion from contraction.

In addition, 15 of the 18 manufacturing industries also expanded in June, led by furniture makers and mineral producers.

As Dow Jones Business News reports, the ISM survey also showed that growth in new orders also were at a seven-month high. Production decreased slightly for the month of June, but was still in line with the Federal Reserve's measure of industrial production.

However, the expansion in manufacturing sector has not yet resulted in significant job creation in the sector. The employment index for June was unchanged in comparison to May.

This suggests an emphasis on improved productivity. As Mikee Johnson, chief executive of Cox Industries, a wood manufacturing company in Orangeburg, S.C put it - "We're generating a lot more product with fewer people now." 

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