Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Richmond Fed: "Fifth District Manufacturing Firms Reported Robust Growth in May"

by Bill McBride on 5/22/2018 10:05:00 AM

From the Richmond Fed: Fifth District Manufacturing Firms Reported Robust Growth in May

Fifth District manufacturing firms saw robust growth in May, according to survey results from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index swung from −3 in April to 16 in May, boosted by growth in the indexes for shipments, new orders, and employment. Local business conditions also moved back into expansionary territory, after weakening in April, and firms remained optimistic that growth would continue in coming months.

Survey results indicate that both employment and wages rose among manufacturing firms in May [Index for number of employees increased from 12 to 18], however, firms still struggled to find the skills they needed. They expect this struggle to continue in the next six months and also expect employment and wages to increase further.

Many manufacturing firms continued to increase spending in May. The growth rate of prices paid continued to rise, on average, but firms seemed able to pass some of change through to customers, as prices received also grew at a faster rate.
emphasis added
All of the regional manufacturing reports for May have been solid so far.