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Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity

Feb. 26, 2019 10 a.m.

Fifth District Manufacturing Activity Strengthened in February

Overview

Fifth District manufacturing activity strengthened in February, according to the latest survey from the Richmond Fed. The composite index rose from −2 in January to 16 in February, buoyed by increases in the indexes for shipments and new orders. The employment index fell slightly in February but remained in expansionary territory. Meanwhile, the index for local business conditions rose to 4, indicating improvement, after two months of negative readings. Firms remained optimistic that conditions would continue to improve in the next six months.

Survey results suggested that both employment and wages remained strong in February, but firms continued to struggle to find workers with the skills they needed. Respondents expected this challenge to continue in the coming months.

Survey participants indicated that growth rates of both prices paid and prices received fell in February, as growth of prices paid continued to outpace that of prices received. Firms expected price growth to slow further in the near future.

Charts

Manufacturing Activity
Manufacturing Employment
Manufacturing Wages
Manufacturing Price Trends
Manufacturing Shipments
Manufacturing New Orders
Vendor Lead Time

Index Table

Manufacturing Business Activity Indexes

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Regional Survey Team (804) 697-8702