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Monday, December 28, 2020

Dallas Fed: "Texas Manufacturing Activity Expands at a Faster Pace" in December

by Calculated Risk on 12/28/2020 10:39:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Expands at a Faster Pace

Expansion in Texas factory activity picked up in December, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rebounded from 7.2 to 25.5, indicating an acceleration in output growth.

Other measures of manufacturing activity also point to stronger growth this month. The new orders index pushed up 11 points to 17.8, and the growth rate of orders index rose from 9.7 to 16.5. The capacity utilization index moved up 11 points to 17.7, and the shipments index advanced from 13.7 to 21.9.

Perceptions of broader business conditions continued to improve in December. The general business activity index remained positive but edged down from 12.0 to 9.7. Meanwhile, the company outlook index pushed further into positive territory, rising from 11.0 to 16.8. Uncertainty regarding companies’ outlooks continued to rise; the index increased six points to 13.4.

Labor market measures indicated an increase in employment and work hours. The employment index increased from 11.7 to 19.6, suggesting a pickup in hiring.
emphasis added
This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for December.

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

The ISM manufacturing index for December will be released on Monday, January 4th. Based on these regional surveys, the ISM manufacturing index will likely decrease slightly in December from the November 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).