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US Key Economic Indicators

Regional Manufacturing Surveys

Importance (A-F): The Philadelphia Fed Index and Chicago PMI merit a B; the rest merit a D.
  • Source: Varies - Purchasing managers' organizations and Federal Reserve banks.
  • Release Time: Varies. Philadelphia Fed at 10 ET on the third Thursday of the month for the current month. Chicago PMI on the last business day of the month for the current month.
  • There are many regional manufacturing surveys, and they tend to be ranked in order of timeliness and the importance of the region. The Philadelphia Fed's survey is first each month, actually coming out during the third week of the month for which it is reporting. Several smaller surveys are then released before the Chicago purchasing managers' report on the last day of each month. A few, such as the Atlanta and Richmond Fed surveys, are released after the NAPM and are of little value. The purchasing managers' reports are measured like the national NAPM - 50% marks the breakeven line between an expanding and contracting manufacturing sector. For the Philadelphia and Atlanta Fed indices, 0 is the breakeven mark.

    These surveys can be of some help in forecasting the national NAPM - particularly the Philadelphia and Chicago surveys which are more closely watched due to their timeliness and the fact that these regions represent a reasonable cross section of national manufacturing activities.

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