U.S. manufacturing trending upward

U.S. manufacturing ready to expand.

A new survey forecasts manufacturing improvements next month.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) announced last week that its manufacturing index rose from 52.8 to 53.5 last month, matching January 2014's high.

The firm compiles the results by surveying industry purchasing managers. Results of 50 and over signal expansion while below that are signs of contraction.

The index for new orders was up slightly to 56 from 55.8. To keep up with demand, manufacturers hired more workers last month, as that index jumped from 51.7 to 55.5. An expanded employee base is also a sign that companies are expecting more work in the coming months.

"When it goes up like that, it's in anticipation of future orders," Bradley Holcombe, chairman of ISM's manufacturing business survey committee, said in a statement.

The only index that dropped last month was production, which fell slightly from 54.5 to 54. In addition, only four of the 18 industries survey showed sub-50 results in June: petroleum and coal products, plastics and rubber products, primary metals and machinery.

June's results continued manufacturing growth over the last two months, a sign that domestic factories and machine shops are adapting to hindrances like the rise in value of the U.S. dollar and cheaper oil prices.

According to the report, oil is remaining steady around $60 a barrel. In June of last year, oil reached $110 a barrel and dropped to a low of $50 a barrel to begin 2015. With low oil costs a disincentive to refineries, production dropped, hurting factories in the process.

While the U.S. dollar is still strong, ISM said that manufacturers are adjusting production schedules to compensate.