An index of manufacturing activity grew more slowly during the last three months but indicated expansion for the seventh consecutive quarter.
The Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI business outlook survey’s composite index fell to 68 from 72 for the quarter ending March. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
The survey is a composite of 12 indexes covering shipments, backlog orders, inventory and profit margin indexes and other measures. It is considered a leading indicator for the manufacturing sector.
“Although a number of individual indexes declined, they remain at relatively high levels,” said Donald A. Norman, MAPI economist and survey coordinator. “Overall manufacturing sector activity remains fairly robust even if the rate of expansion is slowing.”
Except for a drop to 79 from 91 in the orders index, which compares expected orders with a year earlier, there were no dramatic shifts in individual indexes between the March and June surveys. The inventory index slipped to 79 from a record 82 in March.
The MAPI survey followed this month’s release of the Institute for Supply Management’s monthly purchasing managers’ index, which indicated manufacturing activity rose for the 23rd consecutive month.
The ISM factory index registered 55.3 in June, up from 53.5 in May.