The overall economy grew for the ninety-seventh straight time, the Institute for Supply Management reported Monday.

According to the ISM's monthly report on business, the ISM index increased to 57.8 in June from 54.9 in May.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted the index would be 55.2.

An index reading below 50 signals a slowing economy, while a level above 50 suggests expansion. A reading of 50 shows the sector was unchanged in the month.

The prices paid index fell to 55.0 from 60.5. The employment index grew to 57.2 from 53.5.

The production index gained to 62.4 from 57.1, the new orders index increased to 63.5 from 59.5; the supplier deliveries index rose to 57.0 from 53.1; the export orders index increased to 59.5 from 57.5; and the imports index climbed to 54.0 from 53.5.

The inventories index slipped to 49.0 from 51.5; the customers' inventories index grew to 50.5 from 49.5; and backlog of orders increased to 57.0 from 55.0.

Respondents' comments included:

  • "Overall, business is strong. We are seeing price increases for packaging and handling materials as well as some MRO supplies" (Plastics & Rubber Products)
  • "Overall, demand is up 5-7 percent and expected to continue through the end of the year, at least." (Transportation Equipment)
  • "Demand is picking up; meeting budget expectations." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
  • "Business is still very robust. Have continued to hire to match increased demand." (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • "Business [is] steady; not great, but good and fairly solid." (Furniture & Related Products)
  • "Business globally continues to show improvement." (Chemical Products)
  • "Environmental regulations have strong effects on our business. We continue to watch for any changes as a result of the new administration." (Paper Products)
  • "Dry weather helping demand." (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)
  • "International business outside North America on the upswing." (Machinery)
  • "Metal pricing continues to drag down our profit margins, but we are very busy quoting new business, so our customers have a good outlook on the rest of the year." (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • "Business is strong both domestically and internationally. Supplier deliveries are quick domestically, international supply chain is slowing. We are in a hiring mode." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.