1. Economic Indicators: Introduction
  2. Economic Indicators: Beige Book
  3. Economic Indicators: Business Outlook Survey
  4. Economic Indicators: Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)
  5. Economic Indicators: Consumer Credit Report
  6. Economic Indicators: Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  7. Economic Indicators: Durable Goods Report
  8. Economic Indicators: Employee Cost Index (ECI)
  9. Economic Indicators: Employee Situation Report
  10. Economic Indicators: Existing Home Sales
  11. Economic Indicators: Factory Orders Report
  12. Economic Indicators: Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  13. Economic Indicators: Housing Starts
  14. Economic Indicators: Industrial Production
  15. Economic Indicators: Jobless Claims Report
  16. Economic Indicators: Money Supply
  17. Economic Indicators: Mutual Fund Flows
  18. Economic Indicators: Non-Manufacturing Report
  19. Economic Indicators: Personal Income and Outlays
  20. Economic Indicators: Producer Price Index (PPI)
  21. Economic Indicators: Productivity Report
  22. Economic Indicators: Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)
  23. Economic Indicators: Retail Sales Report
  24. Economic Indicators: Trade Balance Report
  25. Economic Indicators: Wholesale Trade Report

The Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey is a monthly survey conducted by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank. Based on responses from the survey participants, the Philly Fed gathers data on a number of key indicators for manufacturers in the region including:

  • The direction of change in overall business activity
  • Employment levels
  • Hours worked
  • New and unfilled orders
  • Shipments
  • Inventory levels
  • Delivery times
  • Prices paid for various manufacturing inputs
  • Prices received for the sale of their products

The survey has been conducted each month since May 1968, and is considered one of the most valuable regional purchasing manager indexes of some 15 or so that are compiled around the country.

Implications for investors

The survey provides investors a look at the economic picture among manufacturers, a key segment of the economy. This report can be useful for stock market investors as it provides an outlook for manufacturing, a major sector of the economy and a major influence on the stock market.

Portions of the report also give readers an indication of trends in inflation and commodity prices, both useful for bond market investors.

Strengths:

  • Survey is very timely, coming out before the end of the month. It is the first regional report to be published.
  • There are often special questions in the survey (like at year end) regarding things like prospects for company sales, or commodity and energy prices.
  • The three states covered have a diverse mix of manufacturing sectors, from old line steel and coal to modern chemicals and semiconductors.
  • The report is concise and readable.

Weaknesses:

  • Only the manufacturing sector is represented here.
  • It only covers three states.
  • The survey is very subjective and may be based on perceptions.
  • Data can be very volatile month to month due to sample size. Changes of more than 50% in a month are not uncommon.

Economic Indicators: Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)
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