U.S. factory activity grew at a slower pace in June for the third straight month as measures of new orders and inventories fell.
The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, says that its manufacturing index slipped to 51.7 last month from 52.1 in May. Any reading above 50 signals an expansion.
The report mostly pointed to an ongoing weakening in U.S. manufacturing. Trade fights with China, Europe and Mexico, as well as an increase in the dollar’s value, have cut into U.S. exports and increased uncertainty for American manufacturers. Export orders are also nearly flat.
A measure of new orders dropped to 50, which means orders were unchanged. Manufacturers are also holding fewer supplies, a sign they are worried that demand could slow further.