Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity

Aug. 22, 2017 10 a.m.

Reports on Fifth District Manufacturing Activity in August Remained Little Changed from July

Overview

Reports on Fifth District manufacturing activity were largely unchanged in August, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index remained at 14 in August, with an increase in the employment index offsetting a decrease in the shipments index and a very slight decline in the new orders metric. Although the employment index rose from 10 to 17 in August, other measures of labor market activity — wages and average workweek — were largely unchanged.

Expectations around manufacturing activity six months ahead were somewhat tempered from July, but manufacturers remained optimistic. Every index for expected activity was well into positive territory, although almost all of the indexes declined from July to August. The one exception was the measure for expected lead time, which rose from 7 in July to 10 in August.

Survey responses show that growth in both prices paid and prices received moderated in August. Meanwhile, reports on inventory levels were little changed, with the index for finished goods inventories down from 17 to 15 and the index for raw materials inventories rising from 17 to 19.

Charts

Index Table

Survey Participation, Report, and Data Questions

Jeannette Plamp
Associate Regional Economist
(804) 697-8152