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Richmond Fed's Current Activity Index held steady at 17 in April 2021
Fifth District manufacturing activity improved in April, according to the most recent survey from the Richmond Fed. The composite index held steady at 17, indicating continued growth, as all three component indexes — shipments, new orders, and employment — remained positive. Survey responses indicated supply constraints, with the backlog of orders and vendor lead time indexes registering historic highs. Meanwhile, inventories shrank as the indexes for inventories of finished goods and raw materials reached their lowest values on record. Manufacturers were optimistic that conditions would continue to improve in the coming months.
Survey results suggested that many manufacturing firms increased employment and wages in April. However, finding workers with the necessary skills remained difficult. Survey participants expected these trends to continue in the next six months.
The average growth rates of both prices paid and prices received by survey participants increased in April, as growth of prices paid continued to outpace that of prices received. Respondents expected price growth to slow in the near future.
Posted: April 27, 2021 Tuesday 10:00 AM