Richmond Fed Reports Drop in Regional Manufacturing in Feb.
CRANBURY, N.J. (DTN) -- Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond reported a decline
in the region's manufacturing activity in February, with its composite index
dropping to minus 2 from 20 in January. Markets expected a reading of 10.
"All three components of the composite index --- shipments, new orders, and
employment --- moved lower from January," said the Richmond Fed. "Firms also
reported a decrease in backlog of orders."
Still, the bank suggested the softening was transitory, finding local
business conditions in the Fifth District remaining positive, and manufacturers
were "optimistic" activity would pick up in the coming months.
Employment and wages maintained their growth trend in February, although
companies "continued to struggle to find workers with the necessary skills, as
this index dropped to -35. Respondents expected this struggle to continue but
employment and wages to grow in the next six months."
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