Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region contracted again in September but at a slower pace. The Richmond Fed’s latest manufacturing survey shows that the composite index of manufacturing activity increased 4 points to -6 in September from -10 the previous month. This comes after some strong numbers from Chicago for the Midwest today.
Here are some highlights from the Richmond Fed report:
- Shipments improved massive substantially, moving from -17 in August to -2 this month.
- The manufacturing employment index climbed 6 points to 7 and the average workweek eased to -7 from -5 the previous month. Meanwhile, wages improved to 4 point to 6.
- New orders fell to -17, worsening from the -11 reading in August
Looking forward, manufacturers were more optimistic about their business prospects over the next six months. More firms anticipated faster growth in shipments, new orders, backlogs, and capacity utilization during the next six months now, than they had in August.
For a historical perspective on manufacturing in the region here’s a seasonally adjusted chart of manufacturing activity from September 2001:
Note: Data is based on responses from 120 of 362 firms surveyed.
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