“Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region weakened further in September,” according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. But sentiment about future prospects edged higher.

The manufacturing index declined to negative 18 in September from negative 16 in August.

Shipments slipped to negative 16 from negative 13, the Fed reported. Volume of new orders dipped to negative 23 from negative 22, while the backlog of orders index declined to negative 24 from negative 22.

As for the future outlook — six months from now — the shipments index was positive 11, up from the positive 6 posted last month, the volume of new orders index slid to 5 from 10, and the backlog of orders dropped to zero from 4.

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