Mid-Atlantic Manufacturing Activity Strengthens in October, Survey Shows -- Richmond Fed
By Maria Martinez
Manufacturing activity across the central Atlantic region of the
U.S. strengthened in October and posted its highest reading on
record, 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 29 in October, up from the 21 reading registered
in September. The indicator beat forecasts from economists polled
by The Wall Street Journal, which expected the index to be at
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.
October's reading posts a sixth 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.
Two of the three components of the index--new orders and
shipments--were above their September levels. Volume of new orders
increased strongly to 32 from 27 a month earlier, and shipments
climbed to 30 from 13 in September.
The remaining component, employment, remained unchanged at 23.
The survey reflected higher employment among many participants in
October and suggested several manufacturers raised wages over the
month, the report said. However, firms struggled to find workers
with the necessary skills.
Survey results also reflected improvement in business conditions
and growing backlogs of orders. Respondents were optimistic that
conditions would continue to improve in the next six months, the
Richmond Fed said.
Write to Maria Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 27, 2020 10:32 ET (14:32 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.