EconSouth (Second Quarter 1999)

Southeastern Manufacturing Survey

Below are highlights from the monthly survey of southeastern manufacturers conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in May.

"Current indicators for the region's manufacturing activity generally eased in April after notable gains the previous month.

"The current production index edged down to 23.5 from 28.3 in March.

"Other indexes of current activity declined or were little changed. The indexes for backlog orders and the number of employees declined. The new orders index dipped only slightly, and the shipments index fell after a sharp boost in March. The materials inventories index fell to its lowest level since June 1995.

"Current price indexes, which have been volatile but stronger recently, turned positive. The prices received index reached its highest level since July 1997, and the prices paid index reached its highest level since January 1998.

"Outlook indexes were mixed but at moderate levels. The indexes for production, shipments, new orders and backlogs rose slightly. Both the number of employees and the average workweek indexes slipped after notable gains in March. The materials inventories index turned negative. The prices received index posted its fourth consecutive increase, while the prices paid index jumped sharply after a sizable drop in March.

(through May 1999)

For more complete, monthly information see the Southeastern Manufacturing Survey index.

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