July's slowdown in manufacturing growth caused consternation in the stock market and among economists. But it shouldn't obscure the fact that economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew for the sixth consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management, custodian of the influential "Manufacturing ISM Report on Business." Said Norbert Ore, ISM's overseer of the survey: "July was only slightly better than June, but still indicated growth as 12 industries reported improvement in July."