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Richmond Fed Archives - Shopfloor

Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Expanded More Strongly in July

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district expanded more strongly in July, with activity accelerating to a 3-month high. The composite index of general business activity rose from 11 in June to 14 in July. (Note that these data have been revised from the prior release to reflect a new seasonal adjustment.) The sector has now expanded for 10 straight months – a sign that conditions have improved from more lackluster activity prior to that. Year-to-date, the headline index has averaged 13.3 so far in 2017, up from 2.1 in the same time period in 2016. In July, manufacturers in the mid-Atlantic region noted monthly pickups in new orders (up from 14 to 18), employment (up from 5 to 10), the average workweek (up from 1 to 9) and wages (up from 10 to 17), with shipments growth unchanged (13). The backlog of orders (up from -4 to 11) increased for the first time since April. Read More

Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Growth Picked Up in June

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank reported that manufacturing activity in its district picked up somewhat in June, bouncing back from May’s more sluggish expansion. The composite index of general business activity rose from 1 in May to 7 in June. While the sector has grown for eight straight months in the region, activity has eased from March’s seven-year high (22). Manufacturers in the mid-Atlantic area felt more optimistic about new orders (up from 0 to 6), shipments (up from -2 to 11) and capacity utilization (up from -9 to 1). Hiring has expanded in every month so far in 2017 (down from 6 to 5), albeit at a slower pace than in February and March. Despite those mostly positive trends, the backlog of orders (up from -15 to -4) and the average workweek (down from -3 to -5) remained in contraction territory in June.   Read More

Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Growth Stalled in May

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district stalled in May, pulling back for the second straight month from March’s seven-year high. The composite index of general business activity declined from 22 in March to 20 in April to 1 in May. On the positive side, it was the seventh straight monthly expansion in the mid-Atlantic region. Still, it was clear that manufacturers in the Richmond Fed region were less optimistic about current conditions in this month’s survey, including neutral growth for new orders (down from 26 to zero) and reduced activity for shipments (down from 25 to -2), capacity utilization (down from 22 to -9) and the average workweek (down from 8 to -3). Nonetheless, there was a slight pickup in hiring (up from 5 to 6). Read More

Richmond Fed: Manufacturers Report Continued Strong Growth

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district continued to expand strongly, even as it pulled back slightly from the fastest rate since April 2010. The composite index of general business activity declined from 22 in March to 20 in April. That was the sixth straight monthly expansion in the mid-Atlantic region. The underlying data were mixed, but still quite encouraging. New orders (unchanged at 26), shipments (up from 17 to 25) and capacity utilization (up from 21 to 22) all grew at healthy rates, with the latter two accelerating their paces for the month. Growth in demand remained at its briskest pace in seven years, which was also positive. Nonetheless, there was also some easing, mirroring the headline number, in the backlog of orders (down from 14 to 4), employment (down from 20 to 5) and average workweek (down from 21 to 8) measures. Read More

Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Growth at Fastest Rate in Nearly Seven Years

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district expanded at its fastest rate since April 2010. The composite index of general business activity increased from 17 in February to 22 in March. That was the fifth straight monthly expansion in the mid-Atlantic region. Indeed, new orders (up from 24 to 26), shipments (up from 16 to 17), capacity utilization (up from 15 to 21), employment (up from 10 to 20) and the average workweek (up from 16 to 21) each accelerated somewhat in the latest survey. Growth in demand also grew at its briskest pace in nearly seven years, which should bode well for activity moving forward, particularly if it can be sustained. Read More

Richmond Fed: Expected Manufacturing New Orders Rose to Highest Point in Survey’s 23-Year History

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district expanded at its fastest rate in 11 months. The composite index of general business activity increased from 12 in January to 17 in February, marking the fourth straight monthly expansion in the mid-Atlantic region. Indeed, new orders (up from 15 to 24), shipments (up from 13 to 16), capacity utilization (up from 8 to 15), employment (up from 8 to 10) and the average workweek (up from 5 to 16) each accelerated in the latest survey. New orders grew at the briskest pace since April 2010, which should bode well for activity moving forward, particularly if it can be sustained. Read More

Richmond Fed: Manufacturers Continued to Expand Modestly in January

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district continued to expand modestly in January. The composite index of general business activity increased from 8 in December to 12 to January. That was the fastest pace of growth since March, representing the third straight monthly expansion in the mid-Atlantic region. Indeed, new orders (up from 11 to 15) and shipments (up from 12 to 13) each accelerated somewhat in the latest survey, with employment (up from -1 to 8) returning to positive growth in January after slipping a little in December. At the same time, capacity utilization (down from 10 to 8) and the average workweek (down from 11 to 5) slowed a bit in the latest report, even experienced decent growth. Read More

Richmond Fed: Manufacturers Experienced a Modest Rebound in Activity in November

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district rebounded modestly in November after contracting in four of the prior five months. The composite index of general business activity increased from -4 in October to 4 in November. The shift in this month’s report came largely from better new orders (up from -12 to 7) data, with shipments (down from 2 to 1) also expanding ever-so-slightly. At the same time, there are lingering weaknesses seen in indices for the backlog of orders (down from -11 to -12) and capacity utilization (up from -5 to -1). Beyond those measures, the labor market data were promising. Hiring (up from 3 to 5) accelerated for the second consecutive month, and the average workweek (up from -3 to 4) widened again. Read More

Richmond Fed: Soft Manufacturing Activity Once Again in October

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district remained soft in October. The composite index of general business activity increased from -8 in September to -4 in October but contracted for the third straight month. The underlying data were mixed. On the positive side, both shipments (up from -4 to 2) and hiring (up from -13 to 3) expanded slightly in October, suggesting a degree of stabilization from recent weaknesses. Yet, several other indicators were in contraction territory, including new orders (down from -7 to -12), capacity utilization (up from -11 to -5) and the average workweek (down from 1 to -3). Overall, these findings show that manufacturers in the region continue to struggle from global headwinds and economic uncertainty. Read More

Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Remained Weak in September

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district remained weak in September. The composite index of general business activity increased from -11 in August to -8 in September but contracted for the second straight month. Several of the underlying data points eased in the rate of decline in this report, including new orders (up from -20 to -7), shipments (up from -14 to -4) and capacity utilization (up from -19 to -11). At the same time, the labor market data were mixed. Hiring (down from 7 to -13) turned negative for the first time in three years; whereas, the average workweek (up from -4 to 1) expanded ever-so-barely in this release after narrowing in August. These findings show that manufacturers in the region continue to struggle from global headwinds and economic uncertainty. Read More