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posted on 23 October 2018

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Declines In October 2018

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

Analyst Opinion of Richmond Manufacturing

The important Richmond Fed subcategories declined - but all remain in expansion. This was the weakest report since April 2018.

The market expectations from Econoday was 16 to 28 (consensus 24). The actual survey value was 15 [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Fifth District manufacturing activity expanded moderately in October, according to the results from the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index fell from 29 in September to 15 in October, as indexes for shipments and new orders dropped, while the third component, employment, rose. However, survey respondents were optimistic, expecting to see positive growth across most measures in the coming months.

While the employment index rose in October, the indexes for wages and workweek dropped but remained positive, indicating continued but weaker growth. Firms were unable to find workers with skills they needed, as the skills index dropped to an all-time low of −22. Respondents expect this struggle to continue in the next six months.

Both prices paid and prices received grew at an accelerated rate in October. Growth of prices paid continued to outpace growth of prices received and hit its highest rate since May 2011. Firms expect price growth to continue in the near future.

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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