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posted on 27 July 2015

July 2015 Texas Manufacturing Survey Manufacturing Activity Continues to Contract for Fifth Month

Of the four Federal Reserve districts which have released their July manufacturing surveys - two forecast weak growth and three are in marginal contraction. A complete summary follows.

There was no market expections from Bloomberg this month. From the Dallas Fed:

Texas factory activity declined slightly in July, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, remained negative but rose for a second month in a row to -1.9, suggesting further moderation in the decline in manufacturing output.

A similar pattern was seen among other measures of current manufacturing activity in July. The capacity utilization index edged up to -4.2, and the shipments index increased to -4.3. These negative index levels indicate contraction, but the upward movement again this month suggests the pace of decline continued to slow. The new orders index rebounded strongly in July and posted a reading of 0.7 after six months in negative territory. The growth rate of orders index jumped 11 points from -16.5 to -5.2.

Perceptions of broader business conditions were mixed. The general business activity index remained negative, but it rose for a second month in a row and reached -4.6 in July. Manufacturers expect improved conditions ahead. The company outlook index surged nearly nine points and posted its first positive reading in seven months, coming in at 1.2.

Labor market indicators reflected slight employment declines and shorter workweeks. The July employment index was negative for a third month in a row and edged down to -3.3. Eleven percent of firms reported net hiring, compared with 15 percent reporting net layoffs. The hours worked index rose from -10.7 to -6.3.

Price and wage pressures were mixed in July. The raw materials prices index has been rather volatile lately—moving from negative readings earlier this year to a positive 7.4 in June then falling to zero in July. The finished goods prices index remained negative for a seventh month in a row, coming in at -2.9. Meanwhile, the wages and benefits index remained positive and little changed at 14.4.

Expectations regarding future business conditions improved notably in July. The indexes of future general business activityand future company outlook both posted double-digit increases. Indexes for future manufacturing activity pushed further into solid positive territory.

Source: Dallas Fed

Summary of all Federal Reserve Districts Manufacturing:

Richmond Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z richmond_man.PNG

Kansas Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z kansas_man.PNG

Dallas Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z dallas_man.PNG

Philly Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z philly fed1.PNG

New York Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z empire1.PNG

Federal Reserve Industrial Production - Actual Data (hyperlink to report):

Holding this and other survey's Econintersect follows accountable for their predictions, the following graph compares the hard data from Industrial Products manufacturing subindex (dark blue bar) and US Census manufacturing shipments (lighter blue bar) to the Dallas Fed survey (light blue bar).

Comparing Surveys to Hard Data:

z survey1.png

In the above graphic, hard data is the long bars, and surveys are the short bars. The arrows on the left side are the key to growth or contraction.

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