Manufacturing in the central Atlantic region “largely unchanged in August,” according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, as the manufacturing index remained 14.

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

Shipments slipped to 8 from 13, the Fed reported. Volume of new orders dipped to 17 from 18, while the backlog of orders index remained at 11.

The capacity utilization index increased to 10 from 9, while the vendor lead time index stayed at 7. The number of employees index rose to 17 from 10, while the average workweek index climbed to 10 from 9 last month, and the wages index crept up to 18 from 17.

As for future outlook (six months from now), the shipments index was 45, off from 50 last month, while the volume of new orders index decreased to 41 from 50, and backlog of orders plunged to 19 from 35. Capacity utilization fell to 36 from 38, the vendor lead time index gained to 10 from 7, the number of employees index declined to 30 from 33, while the average workweek index was at 16, off from 19 the previous month, and the wages index was 35, after a 40 reading last month. The capital expenditures index fell to 30 from 33.

The current trend in prices paid decreased to 1.49 in August from 1.78 in July, while slowing to 0.91 from 0.99 for prices received. The expected trend for the next six months fell to 1.43 from 1.55 for prices paid, and slid to 1.35 from 1.36 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.