Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Richmond Fed: Regional Manufacturing Activity Expanded in February

by Bill McBride on 2/28/2017 10:06:00 AM

From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Expanded; Capacity Utilization Rose Sharply

Fifth District manufacturing activity expanded in February, as shipments increased and the volume of new orders rose broadly, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Employment gains were more common and longer workweeks prevailed. Wage increases were more widespread. Prices paid for inputs rose more rapidly than in January, and prices received also accelerated. ...
...
Manufacturing activity strengthened in February, pushing the composite index to 17 from the previous reading of 12.
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The manufacturing employment index increased compared to a month ago, rising two points this month to a reading of 10. The average workweek lengthened, pushing the index to 16 from 5 a month earlier. Average wage increases were also more common in February. That indicator climbed four points to 15. ...
emphasis added
This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for February.

Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index:

Fed Manufacturing Surveys and ISM PMI Click on graph for larger image.

The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (yellow, through February), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through February) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through January (right axis).

It seems likely the ISM manufacturing index will show stronger expansion in February (to be released tomorrow), and the consensus is for a reading of 56.1.