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FILE PHOTO: A production line employee works at the AMES Companies shovel manufacturing factory in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, on June 29, 2017. Photo by Tim Aeppel/Reuters

U.S. manufacturing shows further improvement in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing improved again in July with a key gauge of activity rising for a second straight month.

The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index rose to 54.2 last month, up from a June reading of 52.6. Any reading above 50 signas that U.S. manufacturing is expanding.

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The June increase had put the index back in expansion territory after it dipped below 50 in March, indicating a recession in manufacturing as the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy.

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