Manufacturing in the central Atlantic region “improved in June,” according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, as the manufacturing index climbed to 7 in June from 1 in May.

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

Shipments rebounded to positive 11 from negative 2, the Fed reported. Volume of new orders rose to 6 from zero, while the backlog of orders index narrowed to negative 4 from negative 15.

The capacity utilization index increased to positive 1 from negative 9, while the vendor lead time index slid to 5 from 6. The number of employees index slid to 5 from 6, while the average workweek index dropped to negative 5 from negative 3 last month, and the wages index fell to 9 from 23.

As for future outlook (six months from now), the shipments index was 38, off from 39 last month, while the volume of new orders index increased to 41 from 35, and backlog of orders rose to 31 from 21. Capacity utilization grew to 32 from 29, the vendor lead time index doubled to 6 from 3, the number of employees index gained to 31 from 20, while the average workweek index was at 16, up from 8 the previous month, and the wages index was 34, after a 32 reading last month. The capital expenditures index fell to 26 from 34.

The current trend in prices paid decreased to 1.31 in June from 1.37 in May, while slowing to 0.90 from 1.08 for prices received. The expected trend for the next six months increased to 1.66 from 1.41 for prices paid, and fell to 1.38 from 1.45 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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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.