The Richmond Fed’s monthly manufacturing report is out.
The headline index unexpectedly rose to 1 from September’s 0 reading. Economists expected an unchanged reading this month.
The Richmond Fed’s survey polls manufacturers from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina on regional business conditions.
Below is a summary of the data from the release:
Manufacturing in the Fifth District remained weak in October, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Shipments, capacity utilization, and the backlog of orders declined. The volume of new orders flattened, while vendor lead-time rose. Finished goods inventories and raw materials inventories also increased in October. Although the average workweek was little changed, manufacturing employment picked up slightly and average wages continued to grow.
Manufacturers’ outlook for the six months ahead was optimistic, though somewhat less buoyant than in recent months. Firms anticipated shipments and the volume of new orders would increase substantially, along with increased capacity utilization. They expected a build-up in their backlog of orders, and a smaller rise in vendor lead-time than they were currently experiencing. Survey participants also continued to anticipate greater capital expenditures. Additionally, producers expected that the number of employees would increase, along with a mild rise in the average workweek. Expectations were for stronger wage growth during the next six months.
Manufacturing price growth moderated in October, with the annualized increases in raw materials and finished goods below last month’s. Further, manufacturers expected prices paid and received would rise more slowly over the next six months.