Photo: Flickr via taberandrew
The Richmond Fed’s survey of manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region of the United States registered a nice beat this month, coming in with a reading of 4 on the index.The consensus expectations among economists polled by Bloomberg was for a reading of -5 on the index this month.
Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region firmed somewhat in September, following three months of contraction, according to the Richmond Fed’s latest survey. The seasonally adjusted index of overall activity edged higher as positive readings for shipments and new orders offset the negative reading for employment. Modest improvement was also evident in most other indicators. Capacity utilization turned positive, while backlogs and delivery times remained negative but improved from their August readings. Moreover, raw materials inventories grew at a slightly slower pace, while growth in finished goods was unchanged.
Looking ahead, assessments of business prospects for the next six months were more optimistic in September. Contacts at more firms anticipated that shipments, new orders, backlogs, capacity utilization, and vendor lead-times would grow more quickly in the months ahead.
Survey assessments of current prices revealed that growth in raw material prices grew more quickly, while finished goods prices grew more slowly. Over the next six months, respondents expected growth in both raw materials and finished goods prices to grow at a much slower pace than they had anticipated a month earlier.
New orders exploded this month to an index reading of 7 – up from last month’s reading of -20.
All in all, activity in other subcomponents of the index was generally positive, with one exception: expected manufacturing employment. That measure ticked down to an index reading of 1 from a reading of 8 last month.
Here is a chart from the release showing the uptick in the index:
Photo: Richmond Fed
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