Manufacturing added another bit of evidence for a slowing economy today.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) announced that the monthly reading of its manufacturing index was 49.8 in July.
But that was little changed from 49.7 in June, the lowest reading in three years, Bloomberg noted.
Any reading under 50 shows a contracting manufacturing sector. July marked the second consecutive month that they index has remained under 50.
Economists had expected the index to rise to 50.2.
The ISM’s index for new factory orders edged up to 48, compared to 47.8 in June. However, these represented the lowest readings since the end of the recession.
ISM officials warned that the poor numbers for new orders were a point of particular concern, suggesting that the manufacturing sector would have trouble remaining out of a contraction.
The manufacturing employment index dropped from 56.6 in June, to 52 last month, though the production index rose slightly to 51.3, from 51 in June.