The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond released its manufacturing survey for the Fifth District on Tuesday showing moderate expansion in July. Shipments, new orders, and order backlogs all increased during the month. The composite index rose to 13 from 7 in June and 3 in May. The employment indices decreased to 1 while the wages index fell two points to 14.
Inventory levels are dropping with the finished goods index down 6 points to 24 and raw materials inventories at 16 from 23 in June.
Prices for raw materials rose quicker in July at an annualized 1.45 percent rate compared to 0.97 percent in June. Prices for finished goods were at an annualized rate of 0.58 from 0.59 the previous month.
The outlook for the next six months is optimistic with shipments and volume of new orders expected to grow. Prices paid are expected to remain flat while prices received are expected to increase at an annualized 1.03 percent rate.
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