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Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity

Oct. 23, 2018 10 a.m.

Fifth District Manufacturing Activity Expanded Moderately in October

Overview

Fifth District manufacturing activity expanded moderately in October, according to the results from the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index fell from 29 in September to 15 in October, as indexes for shipments and new orders dropped, while the third component, employment, rose. However, survey respondents were optimistic, expecting to see positive growth across most measures in the coming months.

While the employment index rose in October, the indexes for wages and workweek dropped but remained positive, indicating continued but weaker growth. Firms were unable to find workers with skills they needed, as the skills index dropped to an all-time low of −22. Respondents expect this struggle to continue in the next six months.

Both prices paid and prices received grew at an accelerated rate in October. Growth of prices paid continued to outpace growth of prices received and hit its highest rate since May 2011. Firms expect price growth to continue in the near future.

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Regional Survey Team (804) 697-8702