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Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity

June 23, 2020

Fifth District manufacturing held fairly steady in June, according to the most recent survey from the Richmond Fed. The composite index rose from −27 in May to 0 in June, as shipments were relatively flat, more firms reported increases in new orders, and firms generally reported continued declines in employment. The index for local business conditions rose notably in June, indicating optimism among firms after three months of some of the most negative readings on record for that series. Manufacturers were also optimistic, overall, that conditions would improve in the next six months.

Survey results suggested that some manufacturing firms saw decreased employment in June. Meanwhile, wages, the average workweek, and availability of skills appeared fairly flat, on the whole. Survey respondents expected employment, wages, and the average workweek to increase in the coming months.

The average growth rates of both prices paid and prices received by survey participants increased in June, with growth of prices paid outpacing that of prices received. Firms expected price growth to continue to rise in the near future.

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