The Institute for Supply Management reports that its purchasing managers index jumped to 55.4 in July, up 4.5 percentage points from June, and the strongest level of the year. "The July report is particularly comforting because the future direction for manufacturing activity had been uncertain while the overall economy struggled to achieve very modest growth in the first half," says Daniel Meckstroth, MAPI's chief economist. "A surge in production and new orders in July, as indicated in the report, gives growth momentum to the sector and confirms our forecast of an acceleration in manufacturing activity in the second half of 2013."

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