Manufacturing growth in the central Atlantic region slowed precipitously in January, falling to 18 from a prior reading of 25, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Readings above zero represent expansion in the Fed index, which has had an average monthly reading of negative 0.62 the past 10 years.

Shipments slipped to 23 from 30, new orders fell to 17 from 29 and the backlog of orders plunged to 5 from 14. Capacity utilization — a measure of factory usage — slowed to 18 in January from 21, while the vendor lead time index dipped to 15 from 17.

Employee headcounts held steady at 14, the average workweek rose to 20 from 15, and wages slid to a reading of 13 from 16.

The future shipments index fell to 38 from 43, while expectations for future orders decreased to 40 from 47.

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