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posted on 30 May 2017

May 2017 Texas Manufacturing Survey Improves

Of the five Federal Reserve districts which have released their May manufacturing surveys - one is in contraction whilst the rest are in expansion. A complete summary follows.

Analyst Opinion of Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey

This survey significantly improved and remained in positive territory with both new orders and unfilled orders in positive territory, and both improved.

Expectations from Bloomberg / Econoday was 6.0 to 20.0 (consensus 15.4), and the reported value was 23.3. From the Dallas Fed:

Texas factory activity increased at a faster pace in May, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, moved up eight points to 23.3, reaching its highest level since April 2014.

Other measures of current manufacturing activity also rose to levels not seen since mid-2014. The new orders index pushed up to 18.1, and the growth rate of orders index rose to 12.3, marking its fifth consecutive positive reading. The capacity utilization index moved up to 19.4, with roughly a third of firms noting increased utilization. The shipments index surged 15 points to 24.7, reaching a level not seen in nearly 10 years.

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved again in May. The general business activity index held fairly steady at 17.2, and the company outlook index rose five points to 20.2.

Labor market measures indicated continued employment gains and markedly longer workweeks this month. The employment index came in at 8.3, posting a fifth positive reading in a row. Eighteen percent of firms noted net hiring, compared with 10 percent noting net layoffs. The hours worked index shot up 10 points to 15.7, its highest reading in six years.

Prices continued to rise in May, albeit at a somewhat slower pace, while wage pressures increased. Upward pressure on input costs receded slightly again, with the raw materials prices index falling three points to 17.5. Upward pressure on selling prices also abated, with the finished goods prices index falling from 12.0 to 5.9. The wages and benefits index, however, rose to 24.3, indicating a stronger rise in compensation costs than was seen in April.

Expectations regarding future business conditions continued to improve. The indexes of future general business activity and future company outlook came in at 31.6 and 30.9, respectively, up several points from last month's readings. Other indexes for future manufacturing activity pushed further into positive territory.

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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