Manufacturing activity in the Carolinas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland strengthened in October, according to a survey from the Richmond Fed released Tuesday.
The composite index, compiled from surveys taken from manufacturing businesses in the Fed’s Fifth District, rose from 21 in September to 29 in October, its highest reading on record, buoyed by increases in the shipments and new orders indexes.
The employment component was unchanged.
Manufacturers reported improving business conditions and growing backlogs of orders, overall. And they were optimistic that conditions would continue to improve in the coming months.
The businesses continued to add workers and raise wages but complained that they were struggling to find workers with the required skills. Inflationary pressures increased slightly, with the gauges of prices paid nd prices received moving up, but remain low overall.
The Fifth District includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.