“Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region advanced somewhat faster in June,” according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

“Looking at the main components of activity, new orders expanded further, while factory shipments grew at a slightly slower rate and employment exhibited more moderate weakness,” the Fed bank said. “Other indicators were mostly positive. Backlogs increased for the first time since August 2007, while vendor delivery times stabilized and capacity utilization edged higher. In addition, manufacturers reported somewhat quicker growth in finished goods inventories.”

The manufacturing index increased to 6 in June 4 from in May.

As for the outlook six months from now, the shipments index was 23, down from 28 last month, while the volume of new orders index fell to 23 from 27, and backlog of orders slid to 11 from 13.

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