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posted on 25 August 2015

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Shows No Growth in August 2015 - Below Expectations.

Of the three regional Federal Reserve surveys released to date, one shows manufacturing expanding, one is flat, and one is in contraction.

The market expected values (from Bloomberg) from 8 to 15 (consensus 10) with the actual survey value at 0.0 [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Fifth District manufacturing activity slowed in August, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Shipments and order backlogs decreased, while new orders flattened this month. Manufacturing hiring softened this month; however, average wages continued to increase at a moderate pace. Prices of raw materials rose more slowly in August, while prices of finished goods grew slightly faster compared to last month.

Despite the soft current conditions, producers remained optimistic about future business conditions. Expectations were for solid increases in shipments and in the volume of new orders in the six months ahead, with increased capacity utilization. In addition, manufacturers looked for rising backlogs and longer vendor lead times.

Producers expected faster employment growth and solid growth in wages during the next six months. Survey participants looked for moderate growth in the average workweek. Looking ahead, manufacturers looked for faster growth in prices paid and prices received.

Current Activity

Overall, manufacturing conditions slowed in August, with several components softening. The composite index flattened to a reading of 0. Shipments dropped sharply; the index lost 20 points to end at −4 and the index for new orders fell 16 points to finish at a reading of 1. Manufacturing employment remained at a flat reading of 1.

Backlogs decreased in August, with the index settling 25 points lower at −15. The capacity utilization index also slipped this month, pulling the index down 14 points to a reading of −5. Vendor lead time lengthened slightly, with that indicator gaining five points to end at 9. Finished goods inventories rose at the same pace as last month; the index held steady at 24. Raw materials inventories increased at a faster pace this month. That gauge increased eight points to 24

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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