US manufacturing soars to a 15-month high


President Trump made a lot of promises on the campaign trail. And he does his best to keep them without much help from Congress. One of those promises was to bring back manufacturing.

Manufacturing in the USA is measured by a key business activity gauge. And it has soared to a 15-month high in July. This exceeded all expectations.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) business survey, published on Monday, shows that its topline manufacturing activity indicator, called the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), surged to a reading of 54.2 in July. Readings above 50 indicate expansion while those below mean contraction.

Economists polled by Reuters predicted the manufacturing gauge to rise to 53.6 in July, so the higher-than-expected number is encouraging, particularly in light of April’s 11-year low of 41.5.

“In July, manufacturing continued its recovery after the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Timothy Fiore. He is the chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee in a release.

There are, however, concerns about sustainability.

“Manufacturing is recovering from low levels and the outlook is uncertain, given the threat of repeated disruptions from virus outbreaks,” said Rubeela Farooqi. He is the chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. He made the remarks to The Associated Press.

Not if President Trump has anything to say about it. Biden, on the other hand, will repeat Barack Obama’s mantra. Obama thinks Trump needs a magic wand to bring manufacturing back.



  1. This measure is only a very rough measure of the level of manufacturing in any given month, RELATIVE TO THE PREVIOUS MONTH. A major (and record) rebound after a record low is nothing to be surprised about, especially given the nature of lockdowns.

    • It also does not mean that the manufacturing industry has returned to, or close to capacity – and if it does it’s likely to be a short-lived phenomenon as companies cover backlogs that won’t be repeated. All it means, is that July was a better month for manufacturing than Jun – no surprises there.

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