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Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Declined

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (03/24/15)

Manufacturing activity declined in March, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index fell to -8 in March from a reading of 0 in February. Shipments and the volume of new orders also fell. Hiring in the manufacturing sector was soft but inched up two points from February to finish at a reading of 6. The average work week shortened, although by less than in February; the index settled at -4 compared with last month’s -6.

Producers plan significant hiring in the next six months. The expectations index for the number of employees rose to 23, compared with last month’s reading of 12.