About the Survey

Each month, the Survey of Manufacturing Activity is sent electronically to about 220 contacts whose firm type, firm size and location collectively match the profile of overall manufacturing in the District. In a typical month, approximately 100 contacts respond to the survey.

Manufacturers provide information on current activity, including shipments, new orders, order backlogs, and inventories. In addition, they inform us about employment conditions, prices and their expectations of business activity for the next six months.

Respondents indicate whether measures of activity rose, were unchanged, or decreased since the last survey. The responses are converted into diffusion indexes by subtracting the percentage of reported decreases from the percentage of increases. Seasonal adjustments are recalculated annually in July to better reflect current economic trends.

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.

The summary results of each survey are provided to the public on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

Contact Us


Jeannette Plamp
Economic Analyst
(804) 697-8152