Today the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Composite Index was at -3 for the month of March, down from last month's 15. had forecast 16. Because of the highly volatile nature of this index, we include a 3-month moving average to facilitate the identification of trends, now at 13.3, which indicates expansion. The complete data series behind today's Richmond Fed manufacturing report, which dates from November 1993, is available here.

Here is a snapshot of the complete Richmond Fed Manufacturing Composite series.

Richmond Fed Manufacturing

Here is the latest Richmond Fed manufacturing overview.

Results of the most recent survey from the Richmond Fed suggest that Fifth District manufacturing activity slowed in April. The composite index dropped sharply from 15 in March to −3 in April, its first negative reading since September 2016. The index was weighed down by a contraction in shipments and new orders; however, its third component, employment, rose slightly and remained in expansionary territory. The negative reading of the local business conditions index also suggested worsening conditions for District manufacturers, but surveyed firms were generally optimistic that they would see overall growth in the next six months. Link to Report

Here is a somewhat closer look at the index since the turn of the century.

since 2000

Is today's Richmond composite a clue of what to expect in the next PMI composite? We'll find out when the next ISM Manufacturing survey is released (below).