The ISM Manufacturing PMI for the US rose to 54.2 in July 2020 from 52.6 in the previous month and above market expectations of 53.6. That was the highest reading since March 2019 as manufacturing continued its recovery after the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. New orders rose sharply (61.5 vs 56.4 in June) as new export sales returned to growth, while employment contracted at a softer pace (44.3 vs 42.1). Among the six biggest industry sectors, Food, beverage & tobacco products remained the best-performing industry sector, followed by chemical products, computer & electronic products and petroleum & coal products. Transportation equipment and fabricated metal products continued to contract, but at soft levels.