The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) gauge of manufacturing activity rose to 53.5 in June from 52.8 in May, slightly beating Wall Street expectations for an increase to 53.1.
Readings above 50 point to expansion while those below indicate contraction.
However, the Chicago Business Barometer this week rose slightly, as well, but still came in contraction territory for the second consecutive month.
“While the latest increase in new orders is a tentative sign of a pickup in demand over the coming months, there is no getting away from the general softness in the data,” said Philip Uglow, chief economist of MNI Indicators. “The Barometer hit a 5½ year low in Q2 and the weakness is having a detrimental impact on the level of hiring.”