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posted on 24 January 2017

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Improves In January 2017.

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

Analyst Opinion of Richmond Manufacturing

For the third month, the regional Fed surveys seem to be saying uniformly that growth is expanding. The Richmond Fed subcategories were strong.

There were no market expectations from Bloomberg. The actual survey value was 12 [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Fifth District manufacturing activity strengthened in January, with continued growth in new shipments and the volume of new orders. Employment picked up, although increases in average manufacturing wages were less widespread than in December. The average workweek continued to grow, but increases were less prevalent in January than a month earlier. Growth in input prices moderated, while growth in prices of finished goods accelerated.

Expectations for shipments in the next six months were upbeat, and survey participants' outlook for the volume of new orders continued to be optimistic. Manufacturers anticipated longer lead times and increasingly planned for more hiring and higher wages. Despite a decline in the current month's average workweek index, producers continued to expect a longer workweek during the six months ahead.

Survey respondents looked for prices of inputs to rise more rapidly over the first half of 2017, while they anticipated slower increases in prices received for their goods.

Current Activity

Manufacturing activity expanded in January, with the composite index adding four points to last month's gauge to end the survey period at a reading of 12. The index for shipments gained a point, finishing at 13, and the volume of new orders index rose to 15 from 11. Increased vendor lead times were less likely to rise this month, with the indicator moderating by five points to a reading of 5.

Growth in the current backlog of new orders moderated this month, moving to 4 from December's reading of 8. In addition, the capacity utilization measure shed two points, to settle at 8. Inventory growth slowed from a month ago. The index for finished goods settled three points lower this month, at a reading of 8, and the indicator for raw materials inventories softened 10 points to end at 15.

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).

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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