Richmond Fed
Richard Fed manufacturing activity index
  • Prior month -7 revised to -8
  • Richmond Fed manufacturing composite index -9 versus -8 in June
  • Shipments index -6 versus -5 in June
  • Services revenue index -2 versus -8 and June
  • employment 5 versus -1 last month
  • wages 19 versus 17 last month
  • prices paid 4.07 versus 4.56 last month
  • prices received 4.01 versus 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 key components of this index — shipments and new orders — also decreased. Specifically, the shipments index went from -5 in June to -6 in July, and the new orders index 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 overall business conditions index stayed negative at -9 in July, reflecting continued pessimism among firms.

Many companies reported reductions in order backlogs and vendor lead times, with indexes for both remaining negative. Meanwhile, two out of three spending indexes saw minor increases.

The report also highlighted that the average growth rates of prices paid and received fell slightly in July. Firms anticipate these growth rates to moderate in the next 12 months. Despite some positive indicators, the general outlook remains cautious.

Below is the table of the Richmond Fed survey including the current conditions and the expectations of six-month forward.

Richmond Fed

Of interest is the price trends, they are dipping back toward the pre-pandemic levels:

Richmond Fed price
Richmond Fed price trends are moving down