September 28, 2020

Regional Manufacturing Readings Indicate Slow Recovery


  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s manufacturing index rose from 18 in August to 21 in September due to increases in the indicators for new orders, capital spending, and employment and an improvement in local business conditions. Click here to read the full report.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s manufacturing index fell to +11 in September from +14 in August due to slower increases in production, shipments, new orders, and employment during the last full month of the summer. The indexes for employee workweek and new orders for exports dipped slightly, and inventory indexes for materials and finished goods were negative. Click here to read the full report.
  • According to the MetLife /U.S. Chamber Small Business Index for the third quarter, small businesses are feeling better than they were three months ago, but are still less optimistic than they were before the pandemic. The index registered 50.3, which is up from the second quarter reading of 39.5, but down from the first quarter reading of 71.7.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor has reported the number of first-time unemployment benefit claims rose to 870,000 for the week that ended September 19, up from 866,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims fell slightly. The number of individuals who continued to receive benefits dropped to 12.58 million for the week that ended September 12, down from 12.747 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell.
  • In other economic news: the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s National Activity Index fell to +0.79 in August, down from +2.54 in July, a reading that still indicates above average economic growth during the month of August; total existing-home sales in the United States rose 2.4 percent from July 2020 to August 2020 and 10.5 percent from August 2019 to August 2020; and sales of new homes in the United States 4.8 percent from July to August and 43.2 percent year-over-year.