FILE - In this Wednesday, May 13, 2020 file photo, Ford Motor Co. employees work a ventilator at the Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti Township, Mich. The plant was converted into a ventilator factory, as hospitals battling the coronavirus report shortages of the life-saving devices. According to the Institute for Supply Management, U.S. manufacturing rebounded in June 2020 as major parts of the country opened back up, ending three months of contraction in the sector caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Osorio
WASHINGTON — U.S. manufacturing improved again in July with a key gauge of activity rising for a second straight month.
The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index rose to 54.2 last month, up from a June reading of 52.6. Any reading above 50 signas that U.S. manufacturing is expanding.
The June increase had put the index back in expansion territory after it dipped below 50 in March, indicating a recession in manufacturing as the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy.