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Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity

July 24, 2018 10 a.m.

Fifth District Manufacturing Firms Saw Slowing Growth in July

Overview

Fifth District manufacturing expanded at a slower pace in July, according to results of the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite manufacturing index fell from 21 in June to 20 in July, but it remained in solid expansionary territory. This decrease resulted from a decrease in the employment and shipments indexes, as the other component (new orders) held steady. Firms were optimistic in July, expecting to see robust growth across most indicators in the coming months.

Manufacturing employment growth slowed in July, as the employment index fell from 23 in June to 22 in July. Firms continued to struggle to find workers with the skills they needed and expect this struggle to continue in the next six months.

Manufacturing firms reported that the gap between growth in prices paid and prices received narrowed in July, although both increased. Respondents expect growth in prices received to continue to accelerate in coming months but anticipate a slowing in growth of prices paid.

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Regional Survey Team (804) 697-8702