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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey shows Expansion in March

by Calculated Risk on 3/22/2011 10:08:00 AM

From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Continues to Advance in March; Expectations Remain Upbeat

In March, the seasonally adjusted composite index of manufacturing activity — our broadest measure of manufacturing — fell five points to 20 from February's reading of 25. Among the index's components, shipments decreased six points to 23, new orders dropped seven points to finish at 20, while the jobs index held firm at 16. [above indicates expansion]
Hiring conditions continued to firm at Fifth District plants in March. The manufacturing employment index held steady at 16, while the average workweek measure moved down seven points to 10. In contrast, wage growth edged up one point to 19.
This was slightly below the consensus forecast of 24, but still shows solid expansion. Prices remain a concern.

• Also, the FHFA reported U.S. Monthly House Price Index Declined 0.3 Percent from December to January. This is for GSE loans and is not as closely followed as Case-Shiller or CoreLogic. According to the FHFA, house prices are at a new post-bubble low and the "January 2011 index is roughly the same as the May 2004 index level."