“Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region expanded for the sixth straight month,” according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

The manufacturing index decreased to 20 in March from 25 in February. Shipments slid to 23 from 29, the Fed reported.

Volume of new orders fell to 20 from 27, while the backlog of orders index decreased to 8 from 12.

As for outlook six months from now, the shipments index was 42, down from 49, while the volume of new orders index decreased to 45 from 48 and the backlog of orders slid to 25 from 31. l

Meanwhile, the service sector revenue index increased to 14 in March, up from 11 in February, while the number of employees index fell to 8 from 10.

The average wage index rose climbed to 10 from 6 and the expected product demand during the next six months index jumped to 23 from 17.

By sector, the retail area excluding services firms reported the sales revenue index remained negative 12 in March, the number of employees index reversed to negative 7 from positive 3, and the average wages index dropped to 10 from 27.

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