About the Survey

Each month since November 1993, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has conducted the Survey of Manufacturing Activity. The survey is sent electronically to manufacturing firms that are selected for participation according to their type of business, location, and firm size.

About 200 contacts receive questionnaires and approximately 90 to 95 of those surveyed respond in a typical month. Respondents report on various aspects of their business, such as shipments, new orders, order backlogs, inventories, and expectations for business activity during the next six months.

Participants indicate whether measures of activity increased, were unchanged, or decreased since the previous survey. The responses are converted into diffusion indexes by subtracting the percent reporting a decrease from the percent reporting an increase. Seasonal adjustments are recalculated annually in July to better reflect current economic trends; however, we make no commitment in this regard.

For more information on the methodology behind the survey, refer to the Fourth Quarter 2015 article in Econ Focus or the March 2014 essay in the Economic Brief series.

For state-level information on business activity, please refer to the monthly reports for Maryland, and North and South Carolina.

The summary results of each survey are released to the public at 10:00 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month. While we expect to adhere to this schedule, we cannot guarantee the timing nor content of the release.

Contact Us

Survey Participation and Data Questions

Jeannette Plamp
(804) 697-8152

Survey Report Questions

Aileen Watson
(804) 697-7995

Participate in our Monthly Surveys

Survey responses provide monetary policymakers with timely, "on the ground" perspectives on the regional economy.