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Richmond Fed region manufacturing measure slows in March

Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region grew at a slower pace in March amid slower growth in shipments and new orders, according to latest survey data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

The Richmond Fed's Fifth District manufacturing index fell to a seasonally adjusted reading of 10 from 16 in February and came in below the Econoday consensus forecast of 12.

The shipments index dropped to a reading of 2 from 12 in February, and the new orders volume index declined to 9 from 19.

Meanwhile, the indexes for employee headcount and wages posted gains, although manufacturing firms "continued to struggle to find workers with the skills they needed," according to the Richmond Fed.

"Respondents expected this struggle to persist in the near future but also anticipate continued growth in employment and wages," the Richmond Fed added.

The Fed's Fifth District covers the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas and most of West Virginia.