Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Expanded In March, Surprising Expectations

manufacturing growthJill Mislinski:  Today the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Composite Index jumped 26 points to 22 from last month’s -4.Investing.com had forecast -1.0.

Because of the highly volatile nature of this index, we include a 3-month moving average to facilitate the identification of trends, now at 6.7, indicating expansion.

The complete data series behind today’s Richmond Fed manufacturing report (available here), which dates from November 1993.

Here is a snapshot of the complete Richmond Fed Manufacturing Composite series.

Richmond Fed Manufacturing

Here is the latest Richmond Fed manufacturing overview.

Fifth District manufacturing activity expanded in March, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Shipments and the volume of new orders increased this month. Employment advanced at a slightly faster pace in March, while average wages grew moderately and the average workweek lengthened. Prices of raw materials and finished goods rose at a faster pace compared to last month.

Manufacturers anticipated robust business conditions during the next six months. Firms expected faster growth in shipments and in new orders in the six months ahead. Additionally, survey participants looked for increased capacity utilization and expected order backlogs to grow. Producers looked for vendor lead times to lengthen modestly.

Survey participants’ outlook for the months ahead also included faster growth in average wages and the average workweek, with a pickup in hiring during the next six months. Over the next six months, manufacturers expected faster growth in prices paid and received. Link to Report

Here is a somewhat closer look at the index since the turn of the century.

since 2000

Is today’s Richmond composite a clue of what to expect in the next PMI composite? We’ll find out when the next ISM Manufacturing survey is released (below).

Because of the high volatility of this series, we should take the data for any individual month with the proverbial grain of salt.

Let’s compare all five Regional Manufacturing indicators. Here is a three-month moving average overlay of each since 2001 (for those with data).

Pages: 1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *