The Richmond Fed’s regional manufacturing activity survey is out, and the feedback looks good.
The headline index jumped to 7 in April from -7 in March.
This was much stronger than the 2 level forecasted by economists.
From the Richmond Fed:
Shipments and the volume of new orders increased. Employment rose, while wages advanced at a slower rate. The average workweek was unchanged from a month ago.
Manufacturers looked for stronger business conditions during the next six months, although expectations were below last month’s outlook. Compared to last month’s outlook, survey participants anticipated somewhat slower growth in shipments, new orders, and capacity utilization. Manufacturers also looked for slower growth in employment and wages. In addition, expectations were for little change in the average workweek. They predicted vendor lead times would edge up at about the same pace as March’s outlook.
Current prices of raw materials and finished goods rose at a slower pace in April compared to last month. Manufacturers expected faster growth in prices paid and prices received over the next six months, although their outlook was below last month’s predictions.
Everyone’s been watching for information that would confirm that any slowdown in during the winter was related to weather.
Below is a breakdown of the subindexes.