Richmond Fed Manufacturing: Activity Expands in November

Today the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Composite Index increased 8 points to 4 from last month's -4. Investing.com had forecast 1. Because of the highly volatile nature of this index, we include a 3-month moving average to facilitate the identification of trends, now at -2.7, indicates contraction. The complete data series behind today's Richmond Fed manufacturing report (available here), which dates from November 1993.

Here is a snapshot of the complete Richmond Fed Manufacturing Composite series.

Richmond Fed Manufacturing

Here is the latest Richmond Fed manufacturing overview.

Fifth District manufacturing activity expanded in November, after a three-month contraction period. New orders increased in the most recent survey period, while shipments remained flat. Hiring activity continued to strengthen mildly across firms and wage increases were more widespread. Prices of raw materials and finished goods rose at a somewhat slower pace in November.

Manufacturers anticipated positive business conditions during the next six months. Producers expected faster growth in shipments and in the volume of new orders. Survey participants looked for backlogs to grow in the months ahead and anticipated increased capacity utilization. Firms looked for slightly longer vendor lead times during the next six months.

Looking ahead, survey participants planned more hiring. In November, more respondents reported future wage increases, while they anticipated somewhat longer average workweeks. Manufacturers looked for faster growth in prices paid and prices received. Link to Report

Here is a somewhat closer look at the index since the turn of the century.

since 2000

Is today's Richmond composite a clue of what to expect in the next PMI composite? We'll find out when the next ISM Manufacturing survey is released (below).

Because of the high volatility of this series, we should take the data for any individual month with the proverbial grain of salt.