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Richmond Fed's Current Activity Index rose from −12 to 1 in August
Fifth District manufacturing activity was moderate in August, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index rose from −12 in July to 1 in August, buoyed by increases in the indexes for shipments and new orders. However, the third component, employment, fell. Firms reported increasing capital expenditures and inventories, but the measure of local business conditions was slightly negative. Manufacturers were, however, optimistic that conditions would improve in the next six months.
Survey results suggested that many firms saw employment decline while the average workweek increased in August. Respondents reported persistent wage growth but still struggled to find workers with the necessary skills. They expected this struggle to continue, along with wage growth, in the coming months.
The growth rates of both prices paid and prices received by survey participants fell in August. Prices paid continued to outpace prices received, a pattern firms expected to continue in the near future.
Posted: August 27, 2019 Tuesday 10:00 AM