Manufacturing continued to contract in June

Manufacturing activity declined for the 17th straight month.
Manufacturing activity declined for the 17th straight month.
Activity in the nation's manufacturing sector failed to grow for the 17th consecutive month in June, according to the monthly report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). Other indicators of including housing construction and jobless claims showed continued weakness in the U.S economy.

Norbert J. Ore, chair of the ISM manufacturing business survey committee, said manufacturing continues to contract at a slower rate, but the trends in the indexes are encouraging as seven of 18 industries reported growth in June.

"Aggressive inventory reduction continues and indications are that the de-stocking cycle is at or near the end in most industries," Ore said. "Overall, a slow recovery for manufacturing is forming based on the current trends in the ISM data."

In the construction equipment and farm equipment manufacturing sectors, signs of a recovery have yet to fully materialize.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that spending on construction declined in May, falling 0.9 percent to $964 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, including a 3.5 percent decline in residential construction.

Economists said the job market continues to be weak. A national report on private-sector employment showed a loss of 470,000 jobs last month, a higher number than expected.

The world's largest maker of tractors and agricultural equipment announced 800 layoffs.