Research >> Economics
Richmond Fed's Current Activity Index fell from 2 to -12 in July
Fifth District manufacturing activity weakened in July, according to the most recent survey from the Richmond Fed. The composite index fell from 2 in June to −12 in July, its lowest reading since January 2013, as all three components — shipments, new orders, and employment — registered declines. Backlogs of orders also fell, reaching a value of −26, its lowest reading since April 2009. Firms reported worsening local business conditions, as this index dropped from 7 to −18, its largest one-month drop on record. However, respondents were optimistic that conditions would improve in the coming months.
Survey results indicated that employment and the average workweek declined in July. However, wage growth continued among survey respondents. Firms continued to struggle to find workers with the necessary skills and expect that struggle to continue in the next six months.
The growth rates of both prices paid and prices received rose in July, as growth of prices paid outpaced that of prices received. Survey participants, on average, expected growth of both prices paid and prices received to slow in the near future.
Posted: July 23, 2019 Tuesday 10:00 AM