Monday, March 25, 2013

Dallas Fed: Regional Manufacturing Activity increased in March

by Calculated Risk on 3/25/2013 10:45:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Picks Up

Texas factory activity increased in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 6.2 to 9.9, indicating a slightly faster pace of output growth. The share of manufacturers noting a decrease in production fell to its lowest level in two years.

Other survey measures also suggested a pickup in manufacturing activity, with the new orders and shipments indexes moving up strongly in March after dipping in February. The new orders index came in at 8.7, up from 2.8, and the shipments index rose 8 points to 10.6.

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved in March. The general business activity index rose from 2.2 to 7.4, reaching its highest level in a year. The company outlook index moved up from 6.3 to 9.6.

Labor market indicators remained mixed. The employment index has been in positive territory so far in 2013 and edged up to 2.6 in March. ... The hours worked index remained slightly negative but ticked up to from –3 to –2.4.
emphasis added
All of the regional manufacturing surveys released so far have indicated expansion in March, and this suggests a pickup in overall manufacturing following a weak period over the last 6 to 8 months.