Monday, August 27, 2018

Dallas Fed: "Robust Expansion in Texas Manufacturing Continues"

by Bill McBride on 8/27/2018 11:19:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Robust Expansion in Texas Manufacturing Continues

exas factory activity maintained its strong momentum in August, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, held steady at 29.3.

Other indexes of manufacturing activity also indicated continued solid expansion in August. The new orders index changed little at 23.9, while the growth rate of orders index moved up three points to 19.9. The capacity utilization index was unchanged at 25.2, and the shipments index slipped five points to 26.0.

Perceptions of broader business conditions remained highly positive this month, although uncertainty remained elevated. The general business activity index edged down to 30.9, while the company outlook index rose seven points to 27.3, with more than 30 percent of manufacturers saying their outlook had improved from July. The index measuring uncertainty regarding companies’ outlooks held fairly steady in August at 16.2, well above its readings in the first half of the year.

Labor market measures continued to suggest robust hiring and longer work hours. The employment index remained at a 13-year high of 28.9. Thirty-four percent of firms noted net hiring, compared with 5 percent noting net layoffs. The hours worked index edged down to 19.0.
emphasis added
The regional surveys for August have mostly indicated somewhat slower growth as compared to July. The last of the regional surveys (Richmond Fed) for August will be released tomorrow.