All three Federal Reserve districts have released their January surveys are forecasting growth. A complete summary follows.
Texas factory activity increased for the ninth month in a row in January, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, edged up from 6 to 7.1, indicating output grew at a slightly stronger pace than in December.
Other measures of current manufacturing activity also reflected a pickup in growth. The new orders index surged from 1.3 in December to 14.4 in January, reaching a seven-month high and suggesting a sharp rise in demand. The shipments index also rebounded strongly, rising from near zero to 9.2. Growth in capacity utilization held steady, with the index remaining at 8.2.
Perceptions of broader business conditions continued to be optimistic in January. The general business activity index posted its eighth consecutive positive reading and was nearly unchanged at a reading of 3.8. Similarly, the company outlook index posted its eighth positive reading in a row and held steady at 15.9.
Labor market indicators reflected increased hiring and longer workweeks. The January employment index edged up for a second month, rising to 8.6. Eighteen percent of firms reported net hiring compared with 10 percent reporting net layoffs. The hours worked index returned to positive territory, rising to 3.4 after dipping to -1.1 in December.
Upward pressure on prices and wages continued in January. The raw materials price index fell to 26.8 but remained high relative to what it was most of last year. The finished goods price index rose to a four-month high of 11. Looking ahead, 43 percent of respondents anticipate further increases in raw materials prices over the next six months, while 41 percent expect higher finished goods prices. Compensation costs increased at about the same above-average pace this month as in December, with the wages and benefits index coming in at 21.6 after a reading of 22.2 last month.
Expectations regarding future business conditions remained optimistic in January. The index of future general business activity edged down but posted a still-robust reading of 22.3. The index of future company outlook rose 9 points to 33.5, reaching its highest level in three years. Indexes for future manufacturing activity showed mixed movements but remained in solidly positive territory.
Source: Dallas Fed
Summary of all Federal Reserve Districts Manufacturing:
Richmond Fed (hyperlink to reports):
Kansas Fed (hyperlink to reports):
Dallas Fed (hyperlink to reports):
Philly Fed (hyperlink to reports):
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New York Fed (hyperlink to reports):
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
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.