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Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity

March 26, 2019 10 a.m.

Fifth District Manufacturing Activity Grew Moderately in March

Overview

Fifth District manufacturing activity grew moderately in March, according to the latest survey from the Richmond Fed. The composite index fell from 16 in February to 10 in March but remained in expansionary territory. The fall came from drops in both the shipments and new orders indexes, but the third component, employment, increased. Firms were optimistic, expecting conditions to improve in the coming months.

Survey results indicated growth in both employment and wages in March. However, firms continued to struggle to find workers with the skills they needed. Respondents expected this struggle to persist in the near future but also anticipate continued growth in employment and wages.

The growth rate of prices paid by survey participants fell slightly in March, while growth of prices received remained fairly stable. While this reduced the gap between the two, growth of prices paid continued to outpace growth of prices received. Firms expected growth of both to slow in the next six months.

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