Even though the contraction of the US manufacturing sector was less than expected in June, just-published figures show apparel and textile mills are among those sectors where output continues to fall. 

According to the Institute for Supply Management, its manufacturing index registered 44.8% in June - which is 2 percentage points higher than the 42.8% reported in May.

This is the 17th consecutive month of contraction in the manufacturing sector.

A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates that it is generally contracting.

"A slow recovery for manufacturing is forming," said Norbert Ore, chair of the ISM's manufacturing business survey committee.

As well as seeing a contraction in production, new orders for apparel, leather and allied products are also down, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

Textile mills and apparel and leather manufacturers reported higher inventories in June, along with falling export orders, and lower imports of materials.