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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Richmond Fed: Regional Manufacturing Activity Weakens

by Calculated Risk on 7/23/2013 10:00:00 AM

From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Weakens - Outlook Remains Optimistic

Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region declined in July, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Shipments, new orders, backlogs, and capacity utilization fell this month. Vendor lead-time remained virtually unchanged, while finished goods inventories rose more quickly. On the employment front, hiring and the average workweek flattened. Average wages rose more slowly than in June. ...

The seasonally adjusted composite index of manufacturing activity—our broadest measure of manufacturing—fell eighteen points in July to a reading of −11. Among the components of that index, shipments dropped twenty-six points to −15 in July. The new orders index also fell to −15; the previous reading was 9; and the gauge for the number of employees remained at 0 for a second month in July.

The index for the number of employees settled at 0, matching last month, and the gauge for the average manufacturing workweek slowed to 2 from June's reading of 11. Average wages also grew somewhat more slowly, with the index shedding two points to end at 8 in July.

Surveyed manufacturers were optimistic about prospects for the next six months. The indexes for expected shipments and new orders both rose to 24, three points above the June readings, while the backlogs gauge flattened to 0 from a June reading of 6.
emphasis added
This was well below the consensus forecast of a reading of 8 for the composite index.