Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing activity rebounded moderately in July

by Bill McBride on 7/29/2010 11:00:00 AM

Note: Usually I don't post all the regional manufacturing surveys, however with the inventory adjustment over, export growth appearing to slow, and domestic consumer demand sluggish, these surveys might provide a hint of weakness in the manufacturing sector.

From the Kansas City Fed: Tenth District manufacturing activity rebounded moderately in July

Tenth District manufacturing activity rebounded moderately in July, and expectations for future production remained positive. However, plans for future hiring and capital spending were essentially flat. Price indexes were mostly unchanged.
This was a little more positive than the other regional reports that are all showing a slowdown in growth:

  • From the July 15th Empire State Manufacturing Survey: "[T]he pace of growth in business activity slowed substantially over the month."

  • From the Philly Fed on July 15th: Firms See Slower Growth Rate

  • From the Dallas Fed on July 26th: Texas Manufacturing Activity Remains Sluggish

  • From the Richmond Fed on July 27th: Manufacturing Activity Moderates in July; Expectations Slip

    It appears overall that growth in the manufacturing sector moderated in July, and some of the internals are even weaker.

    Toss in the weaker tone of in the Fed's Beige Book (released yesterday), and this raises the question: Is Fed Chairman Bernanke and the FOMC behind the curve (again)? In his testimony last week, Bernanke said:
    My colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and I expect continued moderate growth ... Most FOMC participants expect real GDP growth of 3 to 3-1/2 percent in 2010
    That seems pretty optimistic.