“Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region contracted again in July,” according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. In addition, there was a sharp drop-off in sentiment about future prospects.

The manufacturing index declined to negative 16 in July from negative 12 in June, and shipments slipped to negative 23 from negative 11, the Fed reported. Volume of new orders dipped to negative 17 from negative 13, while the backlog of orders index widened to negative 22 from negative 21.

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