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posted on 24 May 2016

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Slips Back Into Contraction In May 2016.

Of the three regional Federal Reserve surveys released to date, all are in contraction.

Market expectations from Bloomberg were between ---- (consensus ---). The actual survey value was -1 [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Fifth District manufacturing activity slowed in May, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Shipments and backlogs decreased, and order backlogs flattened this month. Manufacturing hiring rose modestly, while average wages continued to increase at a moderate pace. Prices of raw materials and finished goods rose more quickly in May, compared to last month.

Despite the soft current conditions, firms remained optimistic about future business conditions. Expectations in May were little changed from April readings. Firms expect moderate growth in shipments and in the volume of new orders in the six months ahead. In addition, manufacturers looked for rising backlogs of new orders. Producers anticipated a decline in capacity utilization and unchanged vendor lead times in the next six months.

Survey participants looked for modest growth in hiring during the next six months. Wage increases were expected to continue to be widespread. Producers anticipated little change in the average workweek. Looking ahead, manufacturers expected faster growth in prices paid and received.

Current Activity

Overall, manufacturing conditions softened in May. The composite index for manufacturing flattened to a reading of −1. The index for shipments dropped sharply, decreasing 22 points to end at −8. Additionally, the new orders index fell 18 points, leveling off at 0. The manufacturing employment index remained at a modest reading this month; the indicator moved down four points to end at 4.

Backlogs decreased in May, with the index settling 24 points lower at a reading of −13. The capacity utilization index also slipped 24 points this month, pulling the index down to a reading of −6. Vendor lead time lengthened modestly, with that indicator gaining four points to end at 6. Finished goods inventories rose across more firms compared to a month ago — the index gained five points, ending at a reading of 19. Growth in raw materials inventories also broadened in May, with that indicator adding 10 points to end the survey period at 25

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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