Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region cooled slightly this month, but expectations for the next six months remain at healthy levels.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond said Tuesday its seasonally adjusted manufacturing index slipped to -2 from 9 in September. Within the index’s components, shipments dropped 16 points to -7, new orders fell from 10 to -1, and the jobs index eased four points to 4.
The bank said its backlog orders index fell, while the capacity utilization index was essentially unchanged. Raw materials inventories were slightly higher, though finished goods inventories fell.
The index of expected shipments increased four points, to 35, while the new orders indicator eased. Area manufacturers’ outlook for labor market activity in the coming months was generally optimistic.
Finally, manufacturers reported that raw materials prices rose at an annual clip of 2.3 percent, lower than September’s 3.2 percent. Respondents expect the prices they pay to increase at a 2.7 percent pace, below last month’s forecast of 3.7 percent.