U.S. Mid-Atlantic Manufacturing Activity Contracted in September -- Richmond Fed
By Xavier Fontdegloria
Factory activity in the central Atlantic region of the U.S.
contracted slightly in September for the first time since May 2020,
signaling that business conditions weakened, data from a survey
compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond showed
The Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity's composite
index fell to minus three in September from nine in August,
signaling a slight contraction in the manufacturing sector's
activity for the first time in more than a year.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected the
indicator to come in at 10.5.
The index 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.
The factory sector is expanding across the U.S., but factories
struggle to keep up with orders due to supply-chain
Two of the three component indexes which form the composite
indicator--shipments and new orders--fell to contraction territory
in September compared with the prior month, while employment
increased, the Richmond Fed said.
Demand showed signs of faltering in September. The shipments
index fell to minus one from six the previous month, while the
volume of new orders index declined sharply to minus 19 from five
The employment index increased to 20 in September from 18 the
prior month, suggesting that many firms increased employment, the
Richmond Fed said.
Manufacturers continued to see low inventories and lengthening
lead times and backlogs of orders, the report said.
Goods producers in the area were optimistic that conditions will
improve in the next six months. The future index for shipments
increased to 40, the future new orders index was stable at 24, and
expectations for employment also rose.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 28, 2021 10:40 ET (14:40 GMT)
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