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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Slowed in December

by Calculated Risk on 12/24/2019 10:02:00 AM

From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Slowed in December

Fifth District manufacturing activity slowed in December, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index fell from −1 in November to −5 in December, weighed down by decreases in the already negative indexes for shipments and new orders, while the third component — employment — increased slightly. Manufacturers also reported weakness in local business conditions and capacity utilization, but they were optimistic that conditions would improve in the coming months.

Many firms saw growth in employment and wages in December. However, respondents reported declines in the average workweek, as this index decreased to −15, its lowest reading since April 2009. Manufacturers continued to report difficulty finding workers with the necessary skills and expected that struggle to continue in the next six months.
emphasis added
Another weak regional report. The Dallas Fed will report next week.