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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dallas and Richmond Fed: Regional Manufacturing Activity mixed in May

by Calculated Risk on 5/28/2013 10:30:00 AM

These are the last two regional manufacturing surveys for May. From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Declined At A Slightly Slower Rate In May; Expectations Improved

Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region contracted at a less pronounced rate in May after pulling back in April, according to the Richmond Fed’s latest survey. ...

In May, the seasonally adjusted composite index of manufacturing activity — our broadest measure of manufacturing — gained four points settling at −2 from April's reading of −6. Among the index's components, shipments recouped seventeen points to 8, the gauge for new orders slipped two points to finish at −10, and the jobs index subtracted six points to end at −3.
And from the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Expands
Texas factory activity increased sharply in May, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from -0.5 to 11.2, indicating a notable pickup in output.

Stronger manufacturing activity was reflected in other survey measures as well. The new orders index rebounded to 6.2 after falling to -4.9 in April. Similarly, the shipments index bounced back to 3.1 after dipping to -0.4. The capacity utilization index came in at 6.4, up from 2.7 last month.

Perceptions of broader business conditions continued to worsen in May. The general business activity index remained negative but moved up five points to -10.5. The company outlook index declined from -2.2 to -6.8, reaching its lowest level since July 2010.

Labor market indicators reflected weaker labor demand. The employment index fell to -6.3 in May, registering its first negative reading this year and reaching its lowest level since November 2009.
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 May), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through May) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through April (right axis).

The ISM index for May will be released Monday, June 3rd, and these surveys suggest another weak reading, possibly even at or below 50 (contraction).