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posted on 29 August 2016

August 2016 Texas Manufacturing Survey Improves Further Into Expansion.

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

Analyst Opinion of Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey

One must assume with surveys that improvement is relative to the previous month. Unfilled orders remains in contraction, while new orders is now in expansion. With the district Feds evenly split between expansion and contraction - it looks like it will be weak growth for Industrial Production this month.

There no expectations from Bloomberg, and the reported value was 4.5. From the Dallas Fed:

Texas factory activity increased in August, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, came in at 4.5 after a near-zero reading in July, suggesting output picked up this month.

Other measures of current manufacturing activity also reflected expansion. Demand bounced back, with the new orders index rising from -8.0 to 5.3 in August and the growth rate of orders index pushing up to 2.1, its first positive reading in nearly two years. The capacity utilization index remained only barely positive at 0.9, while the shipments index rose nearly 10 points to 9.9, with nearly a third of manufacturers reporting higher volumes of shipments this month.

Perceptions of broader business conditions remained fairly pessimistic. The general business activity index was negative for a 20th month in a row and moved down from -1.3 to -6.2. The company outlook index was largely unchanged at -2.8.

Labor market measures indicated slight employment declines and shorter workweek length. The employment index came in at -5.0, down from -2.6 last month. Seventeen percent of firms noted net hiring, while 22 percent noted net layoffs. The hours worked index edged down to -4.5 after coming in near zero in July.

Price pressures were mixed, and wages continued to rise. Upward pressure on input costs accelerated in August, with the raw materials prices index pushing up from 7.6 to 14.1. Selling prices continued to decline, albeit at a slower pace, as the finished goods prices index came in at -1.3. Meanwhile, wages and benefits continued to rise, with the index inching up to 13.7 this month.

Expectations regarding future business conditions improved again in August. The index of future general business activity posted a third positive reading in a row but retreated 11 points to 7.0 this month. The index of future company outlook also declined but remained positive, coming in at 17.1. Other indexes for future manufacturing activity fell but stayed in solid positive territory, suggesting continued optimism.

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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