Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Richmond Fed: "Manufacturing Sector Strengthened, Hiring Remained Modest" in August

by Calculated Risk on 8/27/2013 01:44:00 PM

From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Sector Strengthened, Hiring Remained Modest

The composite index of manufacturing activity rebounded in August, climbing twenty-five points above the July reading to 14. The components of that index all rose this month, with the index for shipments jumping to 17 from the previous reading of −15 and the index for new orders moving to 16 from −15. ...

The index for the number of employees moved up to 6 in August following a flat reading a month ago. The indicator for the average manufacturing workweek also gained, picking up six points to post a reading of 8. In addition, average wage growth intensified, pushing the index to 13 from July's reading of 8.

Manufacturers were decidedly upbeat about business prospects for the next six months. The index for expected shipments rose to 36 from July's reading of 24, and the indicator for the volume of new orders added nine points to last month's index to finish the month at a reading of 33. ...
Manufacturers planned to increase hiring in the six months ahead; the marker for the number of employees picked up four points to settle at 9, while the index for the average workweek moved up to 10 from last month's reading of 8. Employers also anticipated robust wage growth, pushing that index to 28 in August from 21.
emphasis added
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 (dashed green, through August), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through August) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through July (right axis).

All of the regional surveys showed expansion in August, and overall at about the same pace as in July.  The ISM index for July will be released next Tuesday, Sept 3rd.