Compiled By Traci Purdum New orders for factory goods and growing production made for another positive month in manufacturing. Indeed, the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index rose to 56.2% in June. The June figure was the fifth consecutive monthly increase in the index and 0.5 percentage points above the 55.7% recorded in May of this year. "The growth in manufacturing activity accelerated slightly during June," says Norbert J. Ore, group director for strategic sourcing and procurement at Georgia-Pacific Corp. and chairperson of ISM's manufacturing business survey committee. "Steel price increases are drawing a lot of attention from supply managers, and while energy prices have moderated, they are still a concern. Transportation and equipment; furniture; and textiles report a strong upswing in hiring during June. Overall, June was a good month for U.S. manufacturing." A mark above 50% on the index indicates the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy is growing; a figure below 50% signals contraction. Of the 20 manufacturing industries included in the index, 15 registered growth last month. They were: textiles; glass, stone and aggregate; furniture; paper; transportation and equipment; printing and publishing; chemicals; wood and wood products; fabricated metals; food; instruments and photographic equipment; rubber and plastic products; industrial and commercial equipment and computers; primary metals; and miscellaneous (jewelry, toys, sporting goods and musical instruments).