The Manufacturing Activity Index in the US fifth district including the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and most of West Virginia slumped to -8 in December 2018 from 14 in the previous month and well below market expectations of 16. It was the lowest reading since June 2016 as the index for new orders dropped sharply (-9 vs 17 in November) and the gauge measuring shipments declined to its lowest level since April 2009 (-25 vs 12). However, the index for employment rose to 14 in December from 11 in November. Respondents indicated a deterioration in local business conditions, as this index fell to -25, its lowest reading on record, but most firms were optimistic that conditions would improve. Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index in the United States averaged 2.74 Index Points from 1993 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 29 Index Points in September of 2018 and a record low of -44 Index Points in February of 2009.
Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index in the United States is expected to be 5.00 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 7.00 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.