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Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity

March 26, 2024

Fifth District manufacturing activity slowed in March, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite manufacturing index decreased from −5 in February to −11 in March. Of its three component indexes, shipments remained solidly negative at −14, new orders fell from −5 to −17, and employment fell from 7 to 0.

Firms were split about local business conditions, as the index hovered around 0. The index for future local business conditions, however, increased from 3 in February to 12 in March.

Most firms continued to report declining backlogs as the index remained negative. The vendor lead time index returned to negative territory, decreasing from 4 to −17 in March. The capacity utilization index fell from −4 to −21.

The average growth rate of prices paid and prices received decreased in March. Firms expect both growth rates to moderate further over the next 12 months.

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