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Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Slows, Service Sector Activity Up

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (11/25/14)

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond reported a slowdown in overall manufacturing activity in the fifth district in November, with the composite index falling to 4 from 20 in October. Positive business conditions are expected by firms during the next six months, with faster growth in shipments, the volume of new orders, capacity utilization, and expected order backlogs.

Manufacturing employment grew at a moderate pace, with the index dropping from 14 in October to 10 this month. The index for average wages edged up four points to 15, the expected employment index climbed four points to 22, and the index for expected average wages fell only two points to 24.

A separate survey indicated an increase in service sector activity in the district in November, with the overall revenues index dropping only slightly from a reading of 27 in October to 25 and the expectations index rising one point to 28. Slightly faster price increases are expected over the next six months. The service sector recorded robust growth in employment, with the index climbing 10 points to 24. The index measuring average wage increases also rose four points to 22.