- Previous month -7 revised to -8
- Richmond Fed manufacturing composite index -9 vs. -8 in June
- Shipments index -6 against -5 in June
- Services income index -2 against -8 and June
- employment 5 vs -1 last month
- wages 19 against 17 last month
- prices paid 4.07 against 4.56 last month
- prices received 4.01 against 4.56 last month
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond reported that manufacturing activity in the Fifth District remained weak in July. The composite manufacturing index dipped slightly from -8 in June to -9 in July. Two main components of this index – shipments and new orders – also declined. Specifically, the rate of shipments went from -5 in June to -6 in July, and the rate of new orders fell from -16 to -20.
However, the employment index rose from -1 in June to 5 in July, indicating an improvement in this sector. Despite this, the general business conditions index remained negative at -9 in July, reflecting continued pessimism among firms.
Many companies reported reductions in order backlogs and sales lead times, with indices for both remaining negative. Meanwhile, two out of three spending indexes saw small increases.
The report also highlighted that the average growth rates of prices paid and received decreased slightly in July. Companies expect these growth rates to moderate in the next 12 months. Despite some positive indicators, the overall outlook remains cautious.
Below is the table from the Richmond Fed survey including current conditions and expectations six months ahead.
The price trends are interesting, they dip back to pre-pandemic levels: