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Factories Slow Pace As Orders Contract

"The U.S. manufacturing sector barely expanded in July, a sign that a onetime driver of the economy is waning along with the recovery. The news echoes other reports which show that after a long cycle of rebuilding inventories, factories here and overseas are curtailing production amid softer demand.The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index—a survey of purchasing managers that gauges business activity at factories and other industrial plants—was at 50.9% in July, down from 55.3% in June.