RICHMOND FED: Manufacturing Continues To Contract In The South East

General Electric Factory

Photo: General Electric

UPDATE:Manufacturing continued to contract in the South East and mid-Atlantic region of the country, although it did so at a less prononced rate, new data out of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond shows.

The key business activity index improved from last month’s steep decline, up eight points to -9

Economists polled by Bloomberg had forecast a reading of -10.

New orders and the volume of the manufacturing backlog both advanced in August, although each sub-index remained negative, at -20 and -25, respectively. Shipments jumped to +1 from a -23 print in July.

Employment weakened during the month, falling to -5. Nonetheless, expectations remained mostly robust for the next six-months — including for the labour market.

“Looking forward, assessments of business prospects for the next six months were generally in line with last month’s readings,” the Richmond Fed said in its statement. “Contacts at more firms anticipated steady growth in shipments, new orders, and backlogs in the months ahead, while they expected capacity utilization to grow more quickly.”

ORIGINAL:

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond will release a key gauge of manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic and South East, with expectations for the index to register some improvement from last month’s surprisingly weak report.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast the headline business activity index to advance seven points to -10 in August.

A reading below zero indicates economic contraction.

The fifth federal district includes Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, the District of Columbia, and parts of West Virginia.

The announcement is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.

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