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posted on 28 July 2015

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Improves in July 2015 - Above Expectations.

Of the five regional Federal Reserve surveys released to date, three show manufacturing expanding and two are in slight contraction.

The market expected values (from Bloomberg) from 5.0 to 12.0 (consensus 7.5) with the actual survey value at 13 [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Fifth District manufacturing activity increased moderately in July, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.* Shipments and new orders picked up this month, and order backlogs also strengthened. Manufacturing employment softened this month, and average wages continued to increase at a moderate pace. Prices of raw materials rose more quickly in July compared to last month, while prices of finished goods grew about on pace.

Manufacturers remained optimistic about future business conditions. Survey participants expected faster growth in shipments and in the volume of new orders in the six months ahead. Producers looked for increased capacity utilization and anticipated rising backlogs. Expectations were for longer vendor lead times.

Survey participants anticipated an increase in hiring and solid growth in wages during the next six months. However, they expected modest growth in the average workweek. For the six months ahead, manufacturers expected little change in prices paid, although they looked for faster growth in prices received.

Current Activity

Overall, manufacturing conditions strengthened in July. The composite index moved to a reading of 13 from last month's reading of 7. Shipments advanced 11 points to end at 16, while the index for new orders added seven points to finish at a reading of 17. Manufacturing employment softened this month; the index settled at 1.

Backlogs rose at a faster pace this month; the index gained seven points, ending at 10. Additionally, capacity utilization grew at a faster pace, moving the index up three points to a reading of 9. Vendor lead time shortened slightly, with that index edging down one point to 4. Finished goods inventories rose at a slower pace compared to a month ago. The index lost six points to end at 24. Raw materials inventories also increased at a slower pace this month. That gauge declined seven points to 16.

Read entire source document from Richmond Fed

Summary of all Federal Reserve Districts Manufacturing:

Richmond Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z richmond_man.PNG

Kansas Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z kansas_man.PNG

Dallas Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z dallas_man.PNG

Philly Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z philly fed1.PNG

New York Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z empire1.PNG

Federal Reserve Industrial Production - Actual Data (hyperlink to report):

Holding this and other survey's Econintersect follows accountable for their predictions, the following graph compares the hard data from Industrial Products manufacturing subindex (dark blue bar) and US Census manufacturing shipments (lighter blue bar) to the Richmond Fed survey (darkest bar).

Comparing Surveys to Hard Data:

z survey1.png

In the above graphic, hard data is the long bars, and surveys are the short bars. The arrows on the left side are the key to growth or contraction.

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