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posted on 30 November 2015

November 2015 Texas Manufacturing Survey Manufacturing Activity Improves.

Of the five Federal Reserve districts which have released their November manufacturing surveys - two are in contraction and three are in expansion. A complete summary follows.

There market expections (from Bloomberg) were -13.0 to -9.5 (consensus -11.0) versus 5.2 actual. From the Dallas Fed:

Texas factory activity increased for a second month in a row in November after exhibiting weakness in the first three quarters, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.[1] The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, edged up from 4.8 to 5.2.

Some other indexes of current manufacturing activity also reflected growth in November, but the survey's demand measures remained in negative territory. New orders, an indicator of incoming demand, stabilized somewhat this month. The index rose 6 points but stayed slightly negative at -1.6. The growth rate of orders index has been negative for 13 months and held fairly steady at -7.3 in November. Meanwhile, the capacity utilization index posted a third positive reading but slipped to 5.9, and the shipments index remained positive but moved down to 4.2.

Perceptions of broader business conditions were mixed in November. The general business activity index was negative again but less so, rising nearly 8 points to -4.9. The company outlook index pushed up to 0.8—with the near-zero reading reflective of essentially unchanged outlooks from October—after three months in negative territory.

Labor market indicators reflected a notable rise in November. The employment index posted a double-digit increase to 11.6, its highest reading since August 2014. Twenty-four percent of firms noted net hiring, while 12 percent noted net layoffs. The hours worked index also rose sharply to a high not seen in more than a year, coming in at 9.9.

The survey's price measures have been negative most of this year and pushed further negative in November. The raw materials prices index declined to -5.1, suggesting a slightly steeper decline in input costs than last month. The finished goods prices index posted its eleventh negative reading in a row and moved down to -12.1. Meanwhile, the wages and benefits index edged down but stayed strong at 16.

Expectations regarding future business conditions increased in November. The index of future general business activityrose three points to 7.3, and the index of future company outlook rose six points to 16.2. Indexes for future manufacturing activity showed mixed movements 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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