Economy

US Manufacturing Shows Signs Of Improvement

The U.S. manufacturing sector increased in viability in June by 7.3 percent, or $14 billion — although the numbers might not hold if the pandemic continues to threaten recovery, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The number, which values the sector at $206.9 billion, follows a similar rise from May, in which the sector increased by 15.1 percent.

Numbers for the manufacturing sector had been at a low during March and April as the pandemic first hit and rendered much of daily life inoperable as the country tried to combat the virus. During that time, numbers fell 16.7 percent and 18.3 percent respectively, the report stated.

A PYMNTS report noted that U.S. manufacturing hit an 11-year low in May, with an Institute for Supply Management (ISM) report citing that manufacturing was at an ISM index of 43.1. Although the number was higher than April’s, ISM noted that anything below 50 indicated a downward slump in manufacturing.

The ISM report saw a silver lining however as the numbers seemed to be stabilizing in a time between the closing and reopening of factories, and economists noted that the recovery might not be quick, but “at least the worst is over.”

And in June, things seemed to be looking up, with new orders up 3.3 percent for everything except transportation, and 9.2 percent excluding defense, the Census Bureau report stated. Transportation equipment led the way in the increase, boosted $9.2 billion, or 20 percent, to $55.3 billion.

For manufactured goods, the number rose 14.9 percent, a $29.4 billion jump to a $227.1 billion total.

Capital goods saw a decrease in nondefense orders, falling $10.3 billion to $52.2 billion, or 16.4 percent, although shipments rose 4.4 percent, or $2.8 billion, to $66.1 billion.

The manufacturing sector saw an uptick in the making of new personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks or nasal swabs to help test for the coronavirus, PYMNTS reported in June.

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