The Fifth District Manufacturing Index rose to +1 in August 2019 from -12 in the previous month and above market expectations of -4, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Shipments and new orders rebounded from July's sharp declines and capital expenditures and inventories also increased, while the measure of local business conditions was slightly negative. Meanwhile, employment declined while the average workweek increased. Respondents reported persistent wage growth but still struggled to find workers with the necessary skills. They expected this struggle to continue, along with wage growth, in the coming months. Looking ahead, manufacturers were optimistic that conditions would improve in the next six months. Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index in the United States averaged 2.78 Index Points from 1993 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 27 Index Points in March of 2004 and a record low of -44 Index Points in February of 2009.
Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index in the United States is expected to be -2.00 Index Points by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index in the United States to stand at -4.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index is projected to trend around 3.00 Index Points in 2020, according to our econometric models.