Monday, January 29, 2018

Dallas Fed: Manufacturing Expansion Solid in January

by Calculated Risk on 1/29/2018 10:37:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Expansion Continues

Texas factory activity continued to expand in January, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, remained elevated but retreated to 16.8 after surging to an 11-year high in December.

Most other measures of manufacturing activity also pointed to somewhat slower growth in January after the rapid expansion seen in December. The new orders index moved down from 30.1 to 25.5, and the growth rate of orders index fell six points to 15.5. The capacity utilization index also stayed positive but declined, dropping 12 points to 14.5. Meanwhile, the shipments index rose six points to 27.1, indicating a pickup in growth.

Perceptions of broader business conditions remained highly positive in January. The general business activity index pushed up further to 33.4, its highest reading in more than 12 years. The company outlook index remained elevated but edged down to 27.8.

Labor market measures suggested a slight deceleration in employment growth and longer workweeks this month. The employment index came in at 15.2, down five points from December.
emphasis added
This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for January.

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

Based on these regional surveys, it seems likely the ISM manufacturing index will be strong again in January (to be released Thursday, Feb 1st).