Manufacturing in the central Atlantic region “remained positive in October,” according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, as the manufacturing index fell to 12 from 19.

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

Shipments slumped to 9 from 22, the Fed reported. Volume of new orders slid to 17 from 20, while the backlog of orders index dipped to 7 from 8.

The capacity utilization index fell to 7 from 16, while the vendor lead time index gained to 18 from 15. The number of employees index decreased to 10 from 15, while the average workweek index dropped to 8 from 16 last month, and the wages index gained to 24 from 17.

As for future outlook (six months from now), the shipments index was 50, up from 43 last month, while the volume of new orders index increased to 45 from 42, and backlog of orders gained to 26 from 20. Capacity utilization rose to 40 from 36, the vendor lead time index jumped to 15 from 7, the number of employees index slid to 25 from 33, while the average workweek index was at 13, down from 25 the previous month, and the wages index was 33, after a 32 reading last month. The capital expenditures index grew to 27 from 18.

The current trend in prices paid decreased to 1.77 in October from 1.82 in September, while slowing to 1.21 from 1.24 for prices received. The expected trend for the next six months rose to 1.95 from 1.93 for prices paid, and gained to 1.90 from 1.72 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.