Richmond Fed Manufacturing: July Composite Index Remains Upbeat

Today the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Composite Index increased 3 points to 14 from last month's 11. had forecast 4. Because of the highly volatile nature of this index, we include a 3-month moving average to facilitate the identification of trends, now at 9.3, indicates expansion. Seasonal adjustment factors were recalculated to better reflect current economic trends and the entire series was revised. The complete data series behind today's Richmond Fed manufacturing report, which dates from November 1993, is available here.

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

Richmond Fed Manufacturing

Here is the latest Richmond Fed manufacturing overview.

Reports from Fifth District manufacturers improved some in July, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index rose from 11 in June to 14 in July — the result of a slight increase in the measures of new orders and employment. The index for shipments remained at its June reading of 13. A larger share of firms reported higher wages and longer workweeks in July, as the wages index rose from 10 in June to 17 in July and the average workweek index rose from 1 to 9.

Manufacturing executives remained generally optimistic about activity six months ahead. Among the indexes for expected activity, almost every measure was well into positive territory and each increased, with the exception of the index for vendor lead time, which held steady at its June level of 7.

In terms of prices, survey respondents continued to report moderate growth in both prices paid and prices received. Meanwhile, expected growth in prices paid was slightly higher in July while expected growth in prices received was virtually unchanged. 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.