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Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index  
Released On 2/28/2017 10:00:00 AM For Feb, 2017
PriorActual
Level12 17 

Highlights
Manufacturing activity in the Fifth District expanded for the fourth consecutive month in February, with the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index rising a strong 5 points to 17. Strength was broad based, with the shipments reading rising 3 points to 16 and the volume of new orders index gaining 9 points to 24. Backlog of orders picked up, rising 4 points to 8, and vendor lead times also strengthened by 4 to 9. The reading for capacity utilization nearly doubled, up 7 to 15.

Employment components also contributed to strength, with the number of employees index rising 2 to 10, the average workweek index up 11 to 16, and wages up 4 to 15.

Looking ahead, manufacturing executives increased their expectations of robust business conditions, with growth in shipments, up 3 points to 53, new order volumes, up a sharp 11 points to 54, along with higher capacity utilization, up 12 points to 46. Only vendor lead times are expected to moderate, down 4 points to 8. The outlook on employment showed a decline by 4 points to a net 23 percent in those executives expecting an increase in the number of employees, while those expecting wage growth fell by 1 point to a net 30 percent.

Survey respondents expected input prices to rise at a slightly faster rate over the next six months, though they expect a slightly slower pace in the growth of prices received than they did a month ago.

Definition
This survey tracks business conditions in the Richmond Fed's manufacturing sector. The headline index is a composite of the new orders, shipments, and employment indexes.

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2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/242/283/284/255/236/277/258/229/2610/2411/2812/26
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