Monday, April 29, 2013

Dallas Fed: Regional Manufacturing Activity "stalls" in April

by Bill McBride on 4/29/2013 10:38:00 AM

This is the last of the regional manufacturing surveys for April. From the Dallas Fed: Growth in Texas Manufacturing Activity Stalls

Texas factory activity was flat in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell from 9.9 to -0.5. The near-zero reading indicates output was little changed from March levels.

Ebbing growth in manufacturing activity was reflected in other survey measures as well. The capacity utilization index came in at 2.7, down from 5.5, and the shipments index fell to zero after rising to 10.6 in March. The new orders index fell nearly 14 points to -4.9, posting its first negative reading this year.

Perceptions of broader business conditions worsened in April. The general business activity index plummeted from 7.4 to -15.6, reaching its lowest level since July 2012.

Labor market indicators remained mixed. The employment index has been in positive territory so far in 2013 and moved up to 6.3 in April. ... The hours worked index pushed further negative, from -2.4 to -6.5.
emphasis added
Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index:

Fed Manufacturing Surveys and ISM PMI Click on graph for larger image.

The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (dashed green, through April), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through April) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through March (right axis).

The ISM index for April will be released Wednesday, May 1st, and these surveys suggest a lower reading, possibly even at or below 50 (contraction).

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