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

“The index of overall activity steadied as a slightly positive reading for new orders coupled with solid employment growth offset a slightly negative reading for shipments,” the Richmond Fed said. “Other indicators were mixed, however. District contacts reported more moderate weakness in backlogs and capacity utilization, but noted that delivery times and finished goods inventories grew at a somewhat quicker pace.”

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