January 1, 2019

Manufacturers Optimistic, But Activity Slows In Regions Of The United States


  • According to the National Association of Manufacturers’ fourth-quarter Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, manufacturers were more optimistic in 2018 than in any year since the survey began two decades ago. Specifically, for 2019 manufacturers expect strong growth rates in employee wages (2.3 percent), capital investments (2.6 percent), and sales (4.3 percent). Click here to read the full survey.
  • According to Statistics Canada, manufacturing sales in the country fell 0.1 percent in October to $58.2 billion. Sales were down in seven of 21 industries and the overall decline was led by a 7.5 percent in wood product manufacturing sales and three percent decline in primary metal manufacturing sales.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond announced that its manufacturing index for the Central Atlantic region weakened in December due to lower readings for new orders and shipments. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York also said manufacturing activity in its region slowed last month, as did the banks in Philadelphia and Kansas City.
  • In other economic news: the Conference Board consumer confidence index fell to 128.1 in December, down from 136.4 in November; the number of new homes under construction in the United States rose 3.2 percent from October 2018 to November 2018, but was down 3.6 percent between November 2017 and November 2018; and the number of existing homes sold in the United States rose 1.9 percent between October and November 2018 but was down seven percent year-over-year.