Manufacturing growth in the central Atlantic region was “robust” in November, according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, as the manufacturing index soared to 30 from 12.

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

Shipments surged to 33 from 9, the Fed reported. Volume of new orders jumped to 35 from 17, while the backlog of orders index soared to 21 from 7.

The capacity utilization index rose to 19 from 7, while the vendor lead time index remained at 18. The number of employees index increased to 18 from 10, while the average workweek index gained to 17 from 8 last month, and the wages index slid to 21 from 24.

As for future outlook (six months from now), the shipments index was 40, off from 50 last month, while the volume of new orders index decreased to 38 from 45, and backlog of orders fell to 15 from 26. Capacity utilization dropped to 31 from 40, the vendor lead time index declined to 10 from 15, the number of employees index dipped to 24 from 25, while the average workweek index was at 5, down from 13 the previous month, and the wages index was 39, after a 33 reading last month. The capital expenditures index grew to 32 from 27.

The current trend in prices paid increased to 2.04 in November from 1.77 in October, while growing to 1.63 from 1.21 for prices received. The expected trend for the next six months fell to 1.78 from 1.95 for prices paid, and fell to 1.60 from 1.90 for prices received.

All firms surveyed are located within the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and most of West Virginia.

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