TEMPE, Ariz., July 1 (UPI) -- U.S. manufacturing activity rose slightly higher than expected in June, the Institute of Supply Management said Monday.
The headline index (the Purchasing Managers' Index) rose from 49 to 50.9, which indicates manufacturing activity went from a slight contraction to a slight expansion, as 50 is the break-even point.
New orders for manufacturers also went from contraction to growth with the index for fresh business climbing from 48.8 to 51.9. The index measuring the number of employees -- which often lags behind the new orders index -- slipped from 50.1 to 48.7, the ISM said.
The institute said 12 of 18 manufacturing groups showed growth in June.
The strongest growth was seen in furniture and related products, which was followed by growth in the apparel industry, paper products, electrical equipment, appliances, petroleum and coal products and wood products.
Despite growth of business activity in the apparel industry, textile mills lead declines in manufacturing for June, followed by contractions reported by transportation equipment firms, chemical firms and computer and electronic product companies.