“Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region advanced slightly in February, following several months of modest declines,” according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and released yesterday.

“The index of overall activity inched up as shipments steadied and solid gains in new orders offset a slight decrease in employment,” the survey said. “Other indicators were mixed. Backlogs of orders stabilized for the first time in six months and capacity utilization was unchanged from a month ago. Vendor delivery times grew at a slightly slower pace, while manufacturers reported slightly quicker growth in finished goods inventories.”

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