Monday, September 27, 2010

Dallas Fed: Manufacturing activity rose slightly in September

by Bill McBride on 9/27/2010 10:30:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Picks Up and Six-Month Outlook Improves

Texas factory activity rose slightly in September, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, edged back into positive territory following a reading near zero in August.

Other factory activity indicators also improved in September. The new orders and shipments indexes remained negative for the fourth month in a row but moved up from their August levels. The growth rate of orders index jumped from –13 to zero, suggesting the pace of incoming orders may be stabilizing. Meanwhile, the September capacity utilization index climbed back into positive territory ...

Measures of general business conditions continued to worsen. The general business activity index pushed further negative this month, falling to –18. The company outlook index dipped back into negative territory, with 25 percent of firms reporting a worsened outlook, the highest share in more than a year.

Labor market indicators improved slightly in September. The employment index turned positive, up from a negative reading in August. Nineteen percent of respondents said they hired additional employees, while 17 percent noted layoffs. Hours worked were largely unchanged, while wages and benefits rose modestly.
This report is at best mixed, especially with new orders down again.

The Richmond Fed survey will be released tomorrow and the Kansas City Fed survey on Thursday.  Earlier this month, the Philly Fed survey showed contraction, the NY Fed survey showed manufacturing growth slowing.

The national ISM manufacturing survey will be released on Friday.