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Economic Quarterly

Winter 1999

Gauging Manufacturing Activity: The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Survey of Manufacturers

Robert L. Lacy

Since November 1993, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has conducted a monthly survey of business activity at Fifth District manufacturing firms. This survey has proven to be a valuable instrument for gathering regional economic data. An analysis of five years of data shows that the survey provides a timely indicator of changes in employment in the District's manufacturing sector. Several survey indexes also demonstrate potential usefulness as indicators of changes in national manufacturing measures.

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