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posted on 29 February 2016

February 2016 Texas Manufacturing Survey Manufacturing Activity Contraction Continues.

Of the five Federal Reserve districts which have released their February manufacturing surveys - all are in contraction. A complete summary follows.

Market expections (from Bloomberg) was -32.4 to -18.0 (consensus -30,0), against the reported -8.5. From the Dallas Fed:

Texas factory activity contracted again in February, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, remained negative but edged up from -10.2 to -8.5, suggesting output declined but at a slightly softer pace than in January.

Most other indexes of current manufacturing activity also indicated further contraction in February. The new orders index fell 8 points to -17.6, reaching its lowest level since May 2009, when Texas was in recession. The growth rate of ordersindex remained strongly negative at -17.4. The capacity utilization index was largely unchanged at -8.2. Meanwhile, theshipments index rose 10 points to -1.1 after plunging last month.

Perceptions of broader business conditions remained strongly negative in February. The general business activity index has been negative for more than a year and came in at -31.8, up slightly from the January reading. The company outlook index posted a third negative reading in a row but edged up to -17.4. More than a quarter of manufacturers noted their outlook had worsened from January.

Labor market indicators reflected further decline in February. The employment index dropped 7 points to -11.1, hitting its lowest reading since November 2009. Eleven percent of firms noted net hiring, while 22 percent noted net layoffs. Thehours worked index was fairly steady at -9.8, suggesting a continued pullback in employee hours.

The survey's price measures remained negative in February, but wages continued to rise. The raw materials prices index declined 3 points to -12.0, although 73 percent of manufacturers noted no change in input costs. The finished goods pricesindex also declined three points, coming in at -12.5. Meanwhile, the wages and benefits index stayed positive but dipped from 16.5 to 12.3, suggesting a smaller rise in compensation.

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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