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Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity

May 29, 2019 10 a.m.

Fifth District Manufacturing Was Moderate in May

Overview

Fifth District manufacturing activity was moderate in May, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index inched up from 3 in April to 5 in May, as shipments and new orders had fairly flat reading and the third component, employment, remained positive. Firms reported growth in spending and positive overall business conditions and remained optimistic about growth in the coming months.

Survey results indicated that employment and wages grew in May, while the indicator for average workweek recovered from its negative April reading. However, firms continued to struggle to find workers with the necessary skills as this index dropped from −8 in April to −20 in May. Respondents expected this struggle to continue but to see further growth in employment and wages in the next six months.

The growth rates of both prices paid and prices received fell in May, as growth of prices paid continued to outpace growth of prices received. Firms expected a slight increase in both growth rates 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