Richmond Fed Reports Increased Manufacturing Activity

By January 24, 2012Economy

The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank reported that manufacturing activity was much-improved, with the composite index up from 3 in December to 12 in January. This is the highest level since April, and a sign that the region is entering the new year on a stronger footing. As with other regions (especially on the East coast), this reflects a turnaround from the contractions experienced from July to October.

Looking at its various components, the rate of growth for new orders rose. The index grew from 7 to 14 for the month. A similar trend was observed for shipments and capital expenditure plans. Also, after contracting last month, manufacturing in the Richmond region plan to start hiring again, with the index going from -4 to 4.

Moreover, the prospects for growth are positive for 2012, with high levels of optimism across the board. In that respect, it mirrors other comparable surveys which show both a rebound in activity and positive prospects for the new year.

Chad Moutray is chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers.

Chad Moutray

Chad Moutray

Chad Moutray is chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Director of the Center for Manufacturing Research for The Manufacturing Institute, where he serves as the NAM’s economic forecaster and spokesperson on economic issues. He frequently comments on current economic conditions for manufacturers through professional presentations and media interviews. He has appeared on Bloomberg, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox Business and Fox News, among other news outlets.
Chad Moutray

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