Discussion Paper

Do Regional Fed Surveys Reflect National Manufacturing Conditions?

Abstract: Surveys play an important role in how research staff across the Federal Reserve System understand changing economic conditions. Several Reserve Banks conduct manufacturing surveys to gauge the health of the manufacturing sector in their districts. Since these surveys are published before national data, policymakers and market watchers often use them for a signal of where U.S. manufacturing activity is heading. In October 2014, the Dallas Fed published an Economic Letter in which they found that regional Fed manufacturing surveys improved forecasts for several key national indicators. In this post, we reexamine the Dallas Fed's analysis to understand if regional manufacturing data published by the New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Dallas, and Kansas City Reserve Banks — 10 years later — still track leading national economic indicators.

Keywords: economic surveys; 5th district; economic forecasting;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Part of Series: Regional Matters

Publication Date: 2024-04-04