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posted on 26 April 2016

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Remains in Expansion in April 2016.

Of the four regional Federal Reserve surveys released to date, all but one are in expansion.

Market expectations from Bloomberg were between 10 to 14 (consensus 12). The actual survey value was 14 [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Fifth District manufacturing activity continued to expand in April, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Shipments and the volume of new orders remained solid. New hiring increased modestly, while the average workweek lengthened and average wage increases moderated. Prices of raw materials and finished goods rose at a faster pace compared to last month.

Manufacturers remained optimistic about future business conditions, although expectations were less buoyant compared to the past two months. Producers continued to look for solid growth in shipments and in new orders. Backlogs of new orders were expected to build more gradually in the next six months and capacity utilization was expected to increase at a slower rate. Survey participants expected unchanged vendor lead times.

Firms expected modest growth in hiring during the next six months, while wage increases are anticipated to be more widespread. Survey participants looked for little change in the average workweek. For the next six months, producers expected faster growth in prices paid and received.

Current Activity

Overall, manufacturing conditions remained firm in April, with some components softening from last month's robust readings. The composite index for manufacturing moved to a reading of 14, following last month's reading of 22. The index for shipments lost 13 points, while the new orders index shed six points, finishing at readings of 14 and 18, respectively. Manufacturing employment softened this month; the index settled at a modest reading of 8.

Backlogs rose at a faster pace this month, pushing the index up 10 points to a reading of 11. Capacity utilization improved in April. The index edged up one point to end at 18. The vendor lead time indicator remained nearly flat this month at a reading of 2. Finished goods inventories rose at a somewhat slower pace compared to a month ago. That index lost four points, ending at a reading of 14. Additionally, raw materials inventories grew at a slower pace in April. That gauge moved down to 15 from 21.

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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