Richmond Fed Manufacturing Activity Remained Sluggish in August
Fifth district manufacturing activity remained sluggish in August, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite manufacturing index inched up from -9 in July to -7 in August, marking its 16th consecutive negative reading. This month's reading is consistent with the forecast.
Here is an excerpt from the latest Richmond Fed manufacturing overview:
Fifth District manufacturing activity remained sluggish in August, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite manufacturing index edged up from -9 in July to -7 in August. Two of its three component indexes—shipments and new orders—also increased. The shipments index edged up from -6 in July to -5 in August, while the new orders index rose from -20 to -11. However, the third component index—the employment index—fell from 5 in July to -3 in August. Link to Report
Background on Richmond Fed Manufacturing
The complete data series behind today's Richmond Fed manufacturing report, which dates from November 1993, is available here. The Richmond Manufacturing Index is a gauge of manufacturing activity in the Fifth Federal Reserve District (Maryland, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, Virginia, most of West Virginia, and South Carolina) compiled from a survey of ~100 manufacturers. The composite manufacturing index is an average of indexes on shipments, new orders, order backlogs, capacity utilization, supplier lead times, number of employees, average work weak, wages, inventories, and capital expenditures. This is a diffusion index, meaning negative readings indicate contraction and worsening conditions, while positive ones indicate expansion and improving conditions. The survey offers clues on inflationary pressures and the pace of growth in the manufacturing sector for this region of the country and the accumulated results can help trace long-term trends.