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About the Survey

Each month since November 1993, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has conducted the survey of manufacturing activity. The survey is sent electronically to manufacturing firms across the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which encompasses the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and most of West Virginia.

Detailed Explanation About the Survey

Release Schedule

Survey results are usually released to the public at 10:00 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month. While we expect to adhere to this schedule, some dates might vary due to holidays. See release schedule.

Survey Questions

Manufacturing firms report on various aspects of their business, such as shipments, new orders, order backlogs, capacity utilization (usage of equipment), supplier lead times, number of employees, average work week, wages, inventories of finished goods, and capital expenditures. Firms report on change from the previous month and for most of the series, the Richmond Fed then converts responses into diffusion indexes by taking the difference between the contacts who report an increase and those that report a decrease. Firms also report expectations for the next six months. Data is seasonally adjusted each month, and seasonal adjustments are revised each July.

Manufacturing Sample Questionnaire

Data Definitions

Data Dictionary

Corrections to Historical Data

Corrections to historical data are described in an Errata document available on this website. Please note that such corrections are not reflected in the PDF versions of the monthly reports.

Survey History

The manufacturing survey began in June 1986 and took its current monthly form in November 1993. The current and historical data is available to download.

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Regional Survey Team (571) 287-0448