ISM Says Manufacturing Index Slipped

NEW YORK (AP) — An industry trade group says growth in the manufacturing sector weakened in July to the slowest pace this year.

The Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index slipped to 55.5 in July from 56.2 in June. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast a lower reading of 54.1.

A swell of production in factories has helped lead the economic recovery as exports increased and companies rebuilt their stocks, which had dwindled during the downturn.

ISM's index shows momentum has been slowing since spring as consumer demand lags investment from businesses.