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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Rebounded in January

by Calculated Risk on 1/28/2020 10:41:00 AM

From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Rebounded in January

Fifth District manufacturing activity rebounded in January, according to the most recent survey from the Richmond Fed. The composite index rose from −5 in December to 20 in January, as all three components— shipments, new orders, and employment— increased. Local business conditions also improved as this index saw its largest increase since February 2013. Manufacturers were optimistic that conditions would continue to strengthen in the coming months

Survey results indicate that both employment and wages rose for survey participants in January. However, firms continued to struggle to find workers with the necessary skills. They expected this difficulty to persist but wages and employment to continue to grow in the next six months.
emphasis added
This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for January.

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

Based on these regional surveys, it seems likely the ISM manufacturing index will show expansion in January after five consecutive months of contraction.