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Published: Tuesday, 8/17/2004

Manufacturing index gains again

Local manufacturing expanded for the 10th consecutive month in July, but continues to lag the national rate as it has since January, and some key components lost their luster.

An index released yesterday by Toledo s Regional Growth Partnership showed northwest Ohio s manufacturing activity at 52.7 percent last month, down from 56.8 the month before and below the 62 reading nationally.

Still, the continued reading above 50, which means increased activity, may have refuted economists comments a month ago that questioned whether Toledo s factory growth would last.

The strongest component in July was commodity prices, which registered at 82, though that was down from 83.3 in June. Also showing increased activity were vendor deliveries and employment, both up from the prior month.

New orders stayed flat but strong, but the key index component of production, as well as inventory of purchases, showed decreased activity.

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