Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Contracts In December 2018

Of the four regional Federal Reserve surveys released to date, all EXCEPT this Richmond Fed survey is in expansion - and all have rates of growth slowing.

Analyst Opinion of Richmond Manufacturing

The important Richmond Fed subcategories growth well into contraction. This survey was very weak compared to last month. I would not take a single month's survey data to the bank - but with the universal slowing of all manufacturing surveys released to date - one should expect slowing of the Federal Reserve's manufacturing index.

The market expectations from Econoday was 5 to 15 (consensus 14). The actual survey value was -8 [note that values above zero represent expansion].

Fifth District manufacturing activity weakened in December, according to the latest survey from the Richmond Fed. The composite index dropped from 14 in November to −8 in December, weighed down by drops in the indexes for new orders and shipments. At −25, the shipments index was its lowest reading since April 2009. However, the third component, the index for employment, rose. Respondents indicated a deterioration in local business conditions, as this index fell to −25, its lowest reading on record, but most firms were optimistic that conditions would improve.

Survey results suggested employment growth among many manufacturing firms in December, but firms continued to struggle to find workers with the necessary skills. Respondents expected this problem to continue in the coming months but anticipated continued employment growth as well.

Both prices paid and prices received by manufacturing firms grew in December. Growth of prices paid continued to outpace growth of prices received, although the gap narrowed slightly. Firms expected these trends to persist in the coming months.

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Richmond Fed (hyperlink to reports):

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Summary of all Federal Reserve Districts Manufacturing:

Kansas Fed (hyperlink to reports):

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