Skip to Main Content

Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity

March 23, 2021

Fifth District manufacturing activity expanded in March, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index rose from 14 in February to 17 in March, driven by a sharp increase in the shipments index while the other two components — new orders and employment — held steady. Businesses reported lengthened vendor lead times, as this index rose from 46 in February to 61 in March, breaking a 25-year-record for the third month in a row. Survey respondents were optimistic that conditions would continue to improve in the coming months.

Survey results suggested that manufacturers increased employment and wages in March. However, finding workers with the necessary skills remained difficult. Survey participants expected these trends to continue in the next six months.

The average growth rates of both prices paid and prices received by survey participants increased in March, as growth of prices paid continued to outpace that of prices received. Contacts expected the gap to narrow in the near future.

Read Full Report
Download Current and Historical Data

Past Reports

Subscribe to Regional Research

Receive an email notification when regional surveys and reports are posted online:

phone Contact Us

Regional Survey Team (804) 697-8702