Monday, February 27, 2012

Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Expansion Strengthens in February

by Bill McBride on 2/27/2012 09:19:00 PM

This was released earlier today. These high frequency surveys are useful because they provide a glimpse of what was happening just a week or two ago - as opposed to other data that is released with a long lag.

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Expansion Strengthens

Texas factory activity continued to increase in February, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 5.8 to 11.2, suggesting a pickup in the pace of growth.

Other measures of current manufacturing conditions also indicated expansion in February. The new orders index was positive for a second month in a row but fell from 9.5 to 5.8. Similarly, the shipments index moved down from 6.1 to 4.2. Capacity utilization increased further in February; the index edged up from 8.5 to 10.
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The general business activity index rose to 17.8, its highest reading since November 2010.
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Labor market indicators reflected a sharp increase in hiring and longer workweeks. The employment index jumped to 25.2, its highest level since the beginning of 2006.
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Prices and wages increased in February. The raw materials price index was 25.2, little changed from January. The finished goods price index climbed from 9 to 16.2, suggesting selling prices rose at a faster pace.
All of the regional surveys were stronger in February than in January; the last regional survey, from the Richmond Fed, will be released tomorrow.