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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Richmond Fed: Manufacturing activity stabilized in November

by Calculated Risk on 11/22/2011 10:06:00 AM

From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Steadied in November; Expectations Were Upbeat

Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region stabilized in November following four months of contraction, according to the Richmond Fed's latest survey ... In November, the seasonally adjusted composite index of manufacturing activity — our broadest measure of manufacturing — increased six points to 0 from October's reading of −6. Among the index's components, shipments gained seven points to 1, while new orders edged up three points to finish at −2 and the jobs index steadied, moving up seven points to 0.

Labor market conditions changed little at District plants in November. Both the manufacturing employment and average workweek indexes registered a reading of 0, moving up seven points and one point, respectively. Wage growth doubled, picking up five points to finish at 10.

In our November survey, our contacts were more bullish about their business prospects for the next six months. The index of expected shipments increased eight points to 36, and expected orders jumped twelve points to finish at 37. ...

District manufacturers' hiring plans were more upbeat in November. The expected manufacturing employment index gained nine points to 22, while the average workweek indicator held constant at 3. In addition, the index of expected wages moved up nine points to 28.
This was slightly above consensus.

Richmond and New York (Empire state) have been the two weakest regions, and both showed stabilization in November - but still not expansion.