“Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region continued to drift lower in August,” according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and released yesterday. But sentiment about future prospects edged higher.

The manufacturing index remained negative 16 in August. Shipments jumped to negative 13 from negative 23, the Fed reported. Volume of new orders dipped to negative 22 from negative 17, while the backlog of orders index held at negative 22.

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