From Fnno.com, you're watching the Financial News Network. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond reported today that economic activity among manufacturers in the central Atlantic region plunged over the past month. The Fed's manufacturing general-business index fell sharply from -1 in June to -17 in July, indicating contracting rather than expanding activity. The June report originally indicated the index number for last month as -3 rather than -1. According to Bloomberg, analysts had expected this month that the index would come in at -1, so the drop to -17 comes as a shock. The Richmond shipment index, new orders index, and employment index also all dropped from their June figures.
The Richmond Fed's report covers businesses in Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Washington D.C., and most of West Virginia. Manufacturing reports from other areas of the country appear more mixed, with New York showing regional activity growing this month. A Markit flash report released this morning forecast slow growth for the month of July nationally. For more on the latest business news, follow us on Twitter @FNNOnline, or check out our website at fnno.com