Manufacturing growth in Philly area slows in July

FILE - This June 2, 2011 file photo, shows the skyline of downtown Philadelphia in this view from Camden, N.J. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia releases its July report on manufacturing in the Philadelphia region on Thursday, July 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek, File)
FILE - This June 2, 2011 file photo, shows the skyline of downtown Philadelphia in this view from Camden, N.J. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia releases its July report on manufacturing in the Philadelphia region on Thursday, July 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing growth in the Philadelphia region fell in July, a sign that factories are struggling to contribute much to the expanding U.S. economy.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia says that its index of factory activity fell to 5.7 in July from 15.2 the previous month. Any reading above zero indicates that manufacturing is expanding.

The index has been stuck in single digits for all but one month this year. That compares with a recent high of 40.2 in November.

Measures of new orders and shipments fell, yet remained positive. Measures for employment and inventories dropped below zero, a sign of contraction. Still, manufacturers were slightly more optimistic about growth over the next six months.

The survey covers manufacturing in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

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