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posted on 25 April 2016

April 2016 Texas Manufacturing Survey Manufacturing Improves Further In Expansion

Of the three Federal Reserve districts which have released their April manufacturing surveys - only one is in contraction. A complete summary follows.

There was no market expectations from Bloomberg, and the reported value was 5.8. From the Dallas Fed:

Texas factory activity increased for a second month in a row in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 3.3 to 5.8, suggesting a slight pickup in output growth.

Most other indexes of current manufacturing activity also reflected growth this month. The new orders index rebounded into positive territory after four months of negative readings, coming in at 6.2. The growth rate of orders index jumped 11 points to -0.7. The capacity utilization and shipments indexes posted their second positive reading in a row and climbed to 8.2 and 7.1, respectively.

Perceptions of broader business conditions remained pessimistic. The general business activity index held steady at -13.9,its 16th straight negative reading. The company outlook index posted a negative reading for the fifth consecutive month but rose from -11.0 to -5.9, showing signs of additional stabilization in April.

Labor market indicators reflected persistent weakness in April. The employment and hours worked indexes remained negative for the fourth straight month but rose to -3.7 and -1.0, respectively. Fourteen percent of firms noted net hiring, and 18 percent noted net layoffs in April.

Price pressures were mixed, and wages continued to rise. Abatement in downward pressure on input costs was seen in April, as the raw materials prices index bounced back into positive territory after nine months of decline, coming in at 5.5. The finished goods prices index has been negative since January 2015 and edged up to -6.6 this month. Meanwhile, thewages and benefits index stayed positive and rose from 14.7 to 16.7, suggesting a slightly accelerated rise in compensation.

Expectations regarding future business conditions were mixed in April. The index of future general business activity fell 6 points to 0.4, while the index measuring future company outlook posted its third positive reading at 8.9. Indexes for future manufacturing activity rose and remained solidly 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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