Monday, August 29, 2016

Dallas Fed: Regional Manufacturing Activity Increases in August

by Bill McBride on 8/29/2016 10:41:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Increases

Texas factory activity increased in August, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, came in at 4.5 after a near-zero reading in July, suggesting output picked up this month.

Other measures of current manufacturing activity also reflected expansion. Demand bounced back, with the new orders index rising from -8.0 to 5.3 in August and the growth rate of orders index pushing up to 2.1, its first positive reading in nearly two years. The capacity utilization index remained only barely positive at 0.9, while the shipments index rose nearly 10 points to 9.9, with nearly a third of manufacturers reporting higher volumes of shipments this month.

Perceptions of broader business conditions remained fairly pessimistic. The general business activity index was negative for a 20th month in a row and moved down from -1.3 to -6.2. The company outlook index was largely unchanged at -2.8.

Labor market measures indicated slight employment declines and shorter workweek length. The employment index came in at -5.0, down from -2.6 last month. ...
emphasis added
The impact of lower oil prices is still impacting manufacturing.

This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for August.

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

It seems likely the ISM manufacturing index will be lower in August than in July.