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posted on 28 March 2016

March 2016 Texas Manufacturing Survey Manufacturing Is Now In Expansion.

Of the five Federal Reserve districts which have released their March manufacturing surveys - all but one are in expansion. A complete summary follows.

There were no market expections from Bloomberg, against the reported +3.3. From the Dallas Fed:

Texas factory activity expanded slightly in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rebounded to positive territory this month—coming in at 3.3—after two months of negative readings.

Other indexes of current manufacturing activity also rose this month, although some remained in contractionary territory. The new orders index jumped 13 points but was still negative at -4.8, suggesting demand continued to fall but at a slower pace than last month. The growth rate of orders index has been negative since October 2014, although it did rise in March, to -11.7. The capacity utilization index bounced back to positive territory after negative readings so far this year, coming in at 3.3. Shipment volumes were largely unchanged this month as the shipments index remained near zero.

Perceptions of broader business conditions remained negative but showed signs of slight stabilization in March. The general business activity index jumped 18 points but remained negative for a 15th month, posting a reading of -13.6. The company outlook index posted a fourth negative reading in a row but edged up to -11.0.

Labor market indicators reflected continued decline in March. The employment index was largely unchanged at -10.3, with 12 percent of firms noting net hiring and 22 percent noting net layoffs. The hours worked index remained negative for a third month in a row but edged up to -5.6.

Price pressures were mixed and wages continued to rise. Abatement in downward pressure on input costs was seen in March, as the raw materials prices index moved up to zero. The finished goods prices index has been negative for more than a year and edged up to -8.2 this month. Meanwhile, the wages and benefits index stayed positive and rose from 12.3 to 14.7, suggesting a slightly accelerated 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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