U.S. manufacturing activity improved slightly in July but showed contraction for a second straight month, the Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday.
ISM’s monthly service index reading was 49.8, up from 49.7 in June. Figures lower than 50 indicate contraction.
June’s contraction had been the first since July 2009.
Economists had forecast the index would rise to 50.2, Bloomberg reported.
New orders registered a 48 reading up 0.2% from June. Both the production ad employment indexes remained in growth territory, registering 51.3 and 52 readings, respectively, ISM said.
ISM’s factory index measures manufacturing components of the economy.