Manufacturers signaled the first improvement in operating conditions since February in July, as the IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) posted above the 50.0 neutral mark at 51.3, up from 49.8 in June.
Overall growth was driven by the first upturns in both output and new orders for five months. Firms noted that the rise in production was due to greater new business inflows. Some companies also stated that higher new orders stemmed from the gradual return of customers and stronger underlying demand. Workforce numbers in the manufacturing sector were broadly unchanged in July, as the rate of backlog depletion eased further.