The US manufacturing industry looked more upbeat in November, with the Richmond Fed manufacturing index coming in at 13, up from 1 in October and sailing past the expectation of 3. Shipments and the volume of new orders both rose over the month, with employment, average workweek and wages also picking up. Capacity utilization and the backlog of orders flattened, while vendor lead-time increased at a slower pace.
Manufacturers were optimistic about their business prospects, anticipating faster growth in shipments and the volume of new orders over the next six months.
The survey mails 220 businesses each month, and gives an idea on broad activity in the manufacturing sector, including information on shipments, new orders, order backlogs, and inventories.