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

The manufacturing index fell to negative 1 in July from positive 3 in June.

Index readings above zero show expansion, while numbers below zero indicate contraction.

Shipments held at negative 1, the Fed reported. The volume of new orders slid to negative 5 from zero, while the backlog of orders index decreased to negative 18 from negative 11.

As for the outlook six months from now, the shipments index was 35, down from 43 last month, while the volume of new orders index decreased to 40 from 44, and backlog of orders rose to 25 from 19.

Meanwhile, service-sector activity improved in July, according to the bank’s survey.

Overall, the service-sector revenues index jumped to positive 7 in July from negative 4 in June, while the number of employees index rose to zero from negative 2, the average wage index grew to 12 from 2, and the expected product demand during the next six months nearly doubled to 23 from 12.

The indexes are the percentage of responding firms reporting an increase, less the percentage reporting a decrease.

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