11.30.2009 Policy Points

Manufacturing in the South Atlantic: Nov.

From the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s October survey of manufacturing activity in the South Atlantic (District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia):

Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region expanded for the seventh straight month but was virtually flat on balance this month, according to the Richmond Fed’s latest survey. Looking at the main components of activity, growth in shipments and new orders tapered off, while employment returned to negative territory after being positive for the last two months. Other indicators were generally in line with a month ago. Capacity utilization continued to grow more slowly, while backlogs edged slightly lower than a month ago. Vendor delivery times were virtually unchanged, while manufacturers reported slower growth in inventories.

Looking forward, assessments of business prospects for the next six months were generally on par with last month’s readings. Firms looked for steady growth in shipments, new orders, capacity utilization and capital expenditures in the months ahead, while they expected employment to stabilize and reverse its negative reading that was seen last month.

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