LATEST: The results of the Richmond Fed’s December manufacturing survey are out.
The report’s headline index was unchanged from last month’s reading at 13.
Economists expected it to slide to 10.
The unemployment sub-index jumped to 14 from November’s 6 reading.
Below is a summary of the data from the release:
Fifth District manufacturing activity continued to grow at a slightly slower pace in December, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Shipments and the volume of new orders grew at a slightly slower rate compared to last month. Manufacturing employment picked up this month, while wages and average work week rose more slowly. The backlog of orders and vendor lead time declined in December, as capacity utilization rose.
Manufacturers remained optimistic about their future business conditions. Survey participants predicted the volume of new orders and shipments would grow at a faster pace. Additionally, they looked for capacity utilization to grow more quickly during the next six months. Firms anticipated rising backlogs of new orders and longer vendor lead times. Producers expected the number of employees and wages to grow at a faster pace during the next six months. Compared with the current month, expectations were for slower growth in the average work week.
Raw materials and finished goods prices rose at a slower pace in December compared to last month. However manufacturers expected faster growth in prices paid and prices received over the next six months.
The Richmond Fed’s survey polls manufacturers from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina on regional business conditions.