Factory Activity Heats Up as Manufacturers Position for Tariffs

American factory activity accelerated for the second straight month this summer, in part because manufacturers were scrambling to move goods ahead of threatened tariffs.

The Institute for Supply Management on Monday said its manufacturing index rose to 60.2 in June from 58.7 in May. Numbers above 50 indicate activity is expanding across the manufacturing sector, while numbers below 50 signal contraction. The overall ISM index in February hit 60.8, its highest level since May 2004, before easing in March and April. It picked up in May and again in June.

The report is one of the first indicators of national economic activity in the month of June and points to robust activity as the second quarter drew to a close. Many economists estimate economic activity expanded at a pace of 4% or more in the second quarter, nearly twice the expansion’s average.

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