Research >> Economics

Richmond Fed's Current Activity Index gained 8 points to a reading of 4


Fifth District manufacturing activity expanded in November, after a three-month contraction period. New orders increased in the most recent survey period, while shipments remained flat. Hiring activity continued to strengthen mildly across firms and wage increases were more widespread. Prices of raw materials and finished goods rose at a somewhat slower pace in November.

Manufacturers anticipated positive business conditions during the next six months. Producers expected faster growth in shipments and in the volume of new orders. Survey participants looked for backlogs to grow in the months ahead and anticipated increased capacity utilization. Firms looked for slightly longer vendor lead times during the next six months.

Looking ahead, survey participants planned more hiring. In November, more respondents reported future wage increases, while they anticipated somewhat longer average workweeks. Manufacturers looked for faster growth in prices paid and prices received.

Overall manufacturing conditions expanded this month. The composite index for manufacturing gained eight points, moving into positive territory to end at a reading of 4. The new orders indicator increased this month, ending at a reading of 7, while the shipments index remained at a flat reading of 1. The manufacturing employment index changed little this month. The index added two points to end at 5.

The backlog of new orders index remained negative in November as that gauge added one point to end at 12. The capacity utilization index moved up to a flat reading of −1. Vendor lead time lengthened only slightly this month with the index slipping three points, ending at 4. Finished goods inventories rose across more firms than they fell; the index remained at 18. Similarly, growth in raw materials inventories outweighed declines in November, with that indicator ending at 23.






Posted: November 22, 2016 Tuesday 10:00 AM




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