Note: Survey responses were collected from July 6 to July 12.
Manufacturing activity in the region continued to expand this month, according to firms responding to the July Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The indicators for general activity, shipments, and new orders all declined but remain elevated. The firms continued to report increases in employment and prices. Most of the survey’s future indexes tempered but continue to indicate overall optimism about growth over the next six months.
Current Indicators Remain Elevated
The diffusion index for current manufacturing activity fell from a reading of 30.7 in June to 21.9 this month (see Chart 1). Thirty-three percent of the firms reported increases in current activity this month, while only 11 percent reported decreases. The majority of firms (51 percent) reported no change in current activity. The current new orders index decreased 5 points to 17.0 in July, while the current shipments index fell 3 points to 24.6.
The firms continued to add to their payrolls this month. The current employment index edged down from a reading of 30.7 in June to 29.2 this month. Over 38 percent of the responding firms reported increases in employment, while only 9 percent of the firms reported decreases. The current workweek index fell 2 points to 18.4.