Monday, September 28, 2015

Dallas Fed: "Texas Manufacturing Activity Remains Steady" in September

by Bill McBride on 9/28/2015 10:41:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Remains Steady

Texas factory activity was essentially flat in September, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, remained near zero (0.9), suggesting output held steady for a second month in a row after several months of declines.
...
Perceptions of broader business conditions remained weak in September. The general business activity index, which has been negative all year, rose 6 points to -9.5. The company outlook index plunged to -10.3 in August but recovered somewhat this month, climbing to -5.2.

Labor market indicators reflected employment declines and shorter workweeks. The September employment index posted a fifth consecutive negative reading, falling to -6.1.
emphasis added
This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for September. All of the regional surveys indicated contraction in September, mostly due to weakness in oil producing areas.

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 (yellow, through September), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through September) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through August (right axis).

It seems likely the ISM index will be weak in September, and could possibly show contraction - a reading below 50. (although these regional surveys overemphasize oil producing areas).  The consensus is for a decrease to 51.2 for the ISM index, from 51.6 in August.