Of the five regional Federal Reserve surveys released to date, all show manufacturing expanding in August 2014. A complete summary follows. The market expected this survey index at 10 to 14 (consensus 16.0) versus the 4 actual [note that values above zero represent expansion].
Fifth District manufacturing activity grew modestly in November, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Shipments and the volume of new orders flattened this month, while manufacturing employment and average wage growth continued at a moderate pace. The average workweek lengthened at a slightly slower pace than a month ago.
Firms anticipated positive business conditions during the next six months, although expectations were less upbeat than a month ago. Manufacturers expected faster growth in shipments and in the volume of new orders compared to this month. Additionally, survey participants anticipated increased capacity utilization and expected order backlogs to grow more quickly. However, producers looked for little change in vendor lead times.
Manufacturers’ outlook for the months ahead included faster growth in the number of employees and average wages than in the current month, with modest growth in the length of the average workweek.
Manufacturing activity slowed overall in November, with the composite index dropping to a reading of 4 from last month’s reading of 20. Shipments and new orders changed little from a month ago; both indexes flattened to a reading of 1. Manufacturing hiring continued to grow at a moderate pace this month. The November indicator slipped four points to a reading of 10.
Capacity utilization grew at a steady pace this month. The index remained at 13 for a third consecutive month. Additionally, backlogs decreased this month, pulling the index down 11 points to −2. Vendor lead time lengthened at a slightly slower pace, moving the index to 7 from a reading of 12. Finished goods inventories rose more quickly than a month ago. The index gained five points to finish at 20. Additionally, raw materials inventories rose at a slightly faster rate compared to last month. That gauge moved up four points to end at 23.
Read entire source document from Richmond Fed
Summary of all Federal Reserve Districts Manufacturing:
Richmond Fed (hyperlink to reports):
Kansas Fed (hyperlink to reports):
Dallas Fed (hyperlink to reports):
Philly Fed (hyperlink to reports):
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New York Fed (hyperlink to reports):
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 (dark green bar).
Comparing Surveys to Hard Data
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.