The index of manufacturing activity in January exceeded analysts' forecasts, according to the Richmond Fed Survey. The index value rose to -2 points from -8 points last month. Experts had predicted growth to -6 points. The growth in employment and supply volumes caused an increase in the index in January. Indicators of the index of new and outstanding orders, however, declined in January of this year. The first indicator fell to -11 points, which corresponds to a record low since June 2016. The index of outstanding orders dropped to -21 points and reached its lowest level since May 2009. Employment and wages rose in January, but companies still lack staff. Purchase prices rose at a slower pace in January, however, in advance of the selling price growth. According to market expectations, the rise in prices was supposed to slow down at the beginning of the year.
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