Manufacturing Activity from The Richmond Fed’s latest manufacturing report is out.

The latest report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, reveals an unexpected decline in the manufacturing activity along the east coast. The headline index unexpectedly plunged to -11 in July from 8 in June. Economists predicted the index would rise to 9.

Below is a summary of the data from the release:

Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region declined in July, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.* Shipments, new orders, backlogs, and capacity utilization fell this month. Vendor lead time remained virtually unchanged, while finished goods inventories rose more quickly. On the employment front, hiring and the average workweek flattened. Average wages rose more slowly than in June.

Looking ahead six months, manufacturers were optimistic about business. Expectations were for stronger new orders and shipments, along with a rise in capacity utilization. However, hiring expectations were muted and expected changes in the average workweek remained moderate. In contrast, producers looked for stronger wage growth and they also expected to increase capital expenditures in the months ahead.

Raw materials and finished goods prices grew more quickly in July, according to survey respondents. Looking ahead, survey participants anticipated somewhat faster price growth for both raw materials and finished goods. Compared to their June outlook, however, expectations for growth in prices paid were little changed, while this month’s outlook for the pace of growth in prices received slipped below June’s expectations.


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