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posted on 22 December 2015

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Jumps Into Expansion in November 2015.

Of the four regional Federal Reserve surveys released to date, three are in contraction and one is in expansion.

The market expected values (from Bloomberg) from 0 to +4 (consensus +1) with the actual survey value at +6 [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Fifth District manufacturing activity grew modestly in December, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The volume of new orders picked up in December, while shipments flattened. Manufacturing employment strengthened this month and average wages rose moderately, while the average workweek lengthened. Raw materials prices and prices of finished goods rose at a somewhat faster pace.

Manufacturing executives anticipated positive business conditions during the next six months. Firms expected growth in shipments and in new orders. Additionally, producers anticipated order backlogs to build and expected increased capacity utilization. Survey participants looked for slightly longer vendor lead times.

Manufacturers expected faster growth in the number of employees and looked for average wages to increase at a moderate pace in the six months ahead. They expected a modest rise in the length of the average workweek. In addition, producers expected faster growth in prices paid and in prices received during the next six months.

Current Activity

Overall, manufacturing activity improved this month, compared to a month earlier. The December composite index for manufacturing advanced nine points to a reading of 6. The index for shipments flattened, ending at 0, while the index for new orders climbed 14 points to a reading of 8. Manufacturing employment increased moderately this month to a reading of 12.

Capacity utilization increased mildly in December, with that gauge edging up two points to end at 2. Additionally, vendor lead time lengthened slightly this month, with the index adding four points to end at 3. Backlogs of new orders leveled off this month. The indicator climbed 16 points, finishing at 0. Finished goods inventories rose faster than a month ago. The index advanced seven points to end at 27. Raw materials inventories growth remained solid this month. That gauge moved to 23 from 29.

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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