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Monday, September 28, 2020

Dallas Fed: "Texas Manufacturing Recovery Picks Up Steam" in September

by Calculated Risk on 9/28/2020 10:40:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Recovery Picks Up Steam

Texas factory activity expanded in September for the fourth month in a row following a record contraction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose nine points to 22.3, its highest reading in two years.

Other measures of manufacturing activity point to above-average growth this month. The new orders index advanced five points to 14.7, and the growth rate of orders index held fairly steady at 13.2. The capacity utilization index rose from 10.9 to 17.5, while the shipments index was largely unchanged at 21.5.

Perceptions of broader business conditions continued to improve in September. The general business activity index pushed up six points to 13.6, its highest reading since November 2018. The company outlook index held mostly steady at 14.9, a reading well above average. Uncertainty regarding companies’ outlooks continued to rise, with the index positive but largely unchanged at 6.7.

Labor market measures indicated stronger employment growth and a continued increase in workweek length. The employment index pushed up from 10.6 to 14.5, suggesting more robust hiring.
emphasis added
This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for September.

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

The ISM manufacturing index for September will be released on Thursday, October 1st. The consensus is for the ISM to be at 56.2, up from 56.0 in August. Based on these regional surveys, the ISM manufacturing index will likely increase in September from the August level.

Note that these are diffusion indexes, so readings above 0 (or 50 for the ISM) means activity is increasing (it does not mean that activity is back to pre-crisis levels).