January Dallas Fed Manufacturing

This morning the Dallas Fed released its Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey for January. The latest general business activity index came in at 10.5, down 3.5 from 10.5 in December. All figures are seasonally adjusted.

Here is an excerpt from the latest report:

xpansion in Texas factory activity picked up in December, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rebounded from 7.2 to 25.5, indicating an acceleration in output growth.

Other measures of manufacturing activity also point to stronger growth this month. The new orders index pushed up 11 points to 17.8, and the growth rate of orders index rose from 9.7 to 16.5. The capacity utilization index moved up 11 points to 17.7, and the shipments index advanced from 13.7 to 21.9.

Perceptions of broader business conditions continued to improve in December. The general business activity index remained positive but edged down from 12.0 to 9.7. Meanwhile, the company outlook index pushed further into positive territory, rising from 11.0 to 16.8. Uncertainty regarding companies’ outlooks continued to rise; the index increased six points to 13.4.

Expectations regarding future activity remained positive in December, though some key indexes moved down from their November readings. The future production index rose seven points to 47.3, while the future general business activity index moved down eight points to 17.6. Other measures of future manufacturing activity showed mixed movements but remained solidly in positive territory.

Monthly data for this indicator only dates back to 2004, so it is difficult to see the full potential of this indicator without several business cycles of data. Nevertheless, it is an interesting and important regional manufacturing indicator. The Dallas Fed on the TMOS importance:

Texas is important to the nation’s manufacturing output. The state produced $159 billion in manufactured goods in 2008, roughly 9.5 percent of the country’s manufacturing output. Texas ranks second behind California in factory production and first as an exporter of manufactured goods.

Texas turns out a large share of the country’s production of petroleum and coal products, reflecting the significance of the region’s refining industry. Texas also produces over 10 percent of the nation’s computer and electronics products and nonmetallic mineral products, such as brick, glass and cement.

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