US manufacturing expansion sees unexpected decline in pace

The newest figure from the Dallas Fed manufacturing business index shows a fall from 6.5 to 4.4 in July. Economists had been forecasting a rise to 7.3 (release).

Texas factory activity continued to expand in July, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell from 17.1 to 11.4, suggesting output growth continued but at a slower pace than in June.

Some other measures of current manufacturing activity also indicated slower growth in July. The new orders index was positive for the third month in a row, although it edged down from 13 to 10.8. The capacity utilization index also slipped slightly, falling three points to 12.2. However, the shipments index inched up to 17.7, reaching its highest reading in six months.