American manufacturers grew somewhat less rapidly in July, held back by shortages of skilled labor, higher costs for raw materials due to tariffs and difficulty getting enough transportation.
The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index dipped to 58.1% in July from 60.2%. That’s the lowest reading since April, though it's still a strong number overall.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast the index to total 59.5%.
Readings over 50% indicate more companies are expanding instead of shrinking. And numbers over 55% indicate very strong growth.
The ISM's new-orders index slid 3.3 percentage points to 60.2. Production fell 3.8 points to 58.5%.
The employment gauge, however, edged up to 56.5% from 56%.