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posted on 28 September 2015

September 2015 Texas Manufacturing Survey Manufacturing Activity Barely Made It Into Expansion.

Of the five Federal Reserve districts which have released their September manufacturing surveys - all are in contraction except the Dallas Manufacturinng Outlook which is weakly in expansion. A complete summary follows.

There market expections (from Bloomberg) were -12.0 to -4.0 (consensus -9.0) versus +0.9 actual. From the Dallas Fed:

Texas factory activity was essentially flat in September, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, remained near zero (0.9), suggesting output held steady for a second month in a row after several months of declines.

Other indexes of current manufacturing activity increased in September, but some remained in negative territory. Thenew orders index posted a second negative reading but rose 8 points to -4.6, and the growth rate of orders index also remained below zero but rose to -4.3. The shipments index pushed to around zero from -3, and the capacity utilizationindex posted its first positive reading in eight months, coming in at 4.9.

Perceptions of broader business conditions remained weak in September. The general business activity index, which has been negative all year, rose 6 points to -9.5. The company outlook index plunged to -10.3 in August but recovered somewhat this month, climbing to -5.2.

Labor market indicators reflected employment declines and shorter workweeks. The September employment index posted a fifth consecutive negative reading, falling to -6.1. Twelve percent of firms reported net hiring, while 18 percent reported net layoffs. The hours worked index fell markedly from 0.6 to -11.1, suggesting a decline in workweek length from August.

Price and wage pressures were mixed in September. The raw materials prices index came in near zero—suggesting stable input prices—after a -8 reading last month. The finished goods prices index remained negative at -10.9, although it was up from a multiyear low of -15.7 in August. Meanwhile, the wages and benefits index remained positive but edged down to 15.6.

Expectations regarding future business conditions improved very slightly in September. The indexes of future general business activity and future company outlook edged one point further into positive territory. Indexes for future manufacturing activity moved down modestly but remained strongly positive.

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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