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Monday, April 29, 2019

Dallas Fed: "Growth in Texas Manufacturing Activity Picks Up Slightly"

by Calculated Risk on 4/29/2019 10:36:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Growth in Texas Manufacturing Activity Picks Up Slightly

Texas factory activity continued to expand in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, ticked up two points to 12.4, indicating output growth accelerated slightly from March.

Other measures of manufacturing activity also suggested slightly faster expansion in April. The survey’s demand indicators bounced back after dipping last month: The new orders index rose eight points to 9.8, and the growth rate of orders index rose from -2.0 to 5.2. The capacity utilization index pushed to a seven-month high of 15.6, while the shipments index held fairly steady at 6.3.

Perceptions of broader business conditions continued to improve in April. The general business activity index remained positive for a third month in a row but fell five points to 2.0. Meanwhile, the company outlook index climbed two points to 6.3.

Labor market measures suggested weaker employment growth but slightly stronger growth in workweek length in April. The employment index fell eight points to 4.6, its lowest reading since the end of 2016.
emphasis added
This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for April.

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

Based on these regional surveys, it seems likely the ISM manufacturing index will be at about the same level in April as in March, maybe slightly lower. The consensus forecast is for a reading of 55.0, down slightly from 55.3 in March (to be released on Wednesday, May 1st).