Mid-Atlantic Manufacturing Activity Quickens in September to Two-Year High -- Richmond Fed
By Xavier Fontdegloria
Manufacturing activity across the central Atlantic region of the
U.S. accelerated its expansion pace in September and reached a
two-year high, data from a survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond showed Tuesday.
The Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity's composite
index came in at 21 in September, up from the 18 reading registered
in August. The indicator beat forecasts from economists polled by
The Wall Street Journal, which expected the index to be at 14.
The indicator is compiled by surveying manufacturing firms
across the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which encompasses the
District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Virginia and most of West Virginia. Positive readings signal
expansion, while negative readings indicate contraction.
September's reading posts a fifth consecutive month of
improvement for the index, which plunged to a record low of minus
53 in April amid the lockdown to contain the spread of the
coronavirus. The index stands now at the highest level since
Two of the three components of the index -- new orders and
employment -- were above their August levels. Volume of new orders
increased strongly to 27 from 15 a month earlier, and employment
climbed to 23 from 17 in August.
The remaining component, shipments, decreased to 13 from 22 a
month earlier, but remained in positive territory, signaling
expansion but at a slower pace than that of the previous month.
Survey results also reflected improvement in local business
conditions and increased capital spending. Respondents were
optimistic that conditions would continue to improve in the next
six months, the Richmond Fed said.
The survey reflected higher employment among many participants
in September and suggested several manufacturers raised wages over
the month, the report said.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 22, 2020 10:35 ET (14:35 GMT)
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