Dallas Fed Manufacturing Outlook: "January Activity Accelerates"

This morning the Dallas Fed released its Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey (TMOS) for December. The latest general business activity index came in at 1.0, up from -5.1 in December. All figures are seasonally adjusted.

Here is an excerpt from the latest report:

Texas factory activity continued to expand in January, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 7.3 to 14.5, indicating an acceleration in output growth.

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved in January. The general business activity index rebounded from a multiyear low of -5.1 in December to 1.0 in January. This near-zero reading suggests manufacturers were fairly balanced in their assessment of whether activity had improved or worsened from last month. The company outlook index also rebounded from negative territory this month, rising more than 10 points to 7.1.

Expectations regarding future business conditions pushed further positive in January. The indexes of future general business activity and future company outlook rose to 11.7 and 22.3, respectively. Other indexes of future manufacturing activity also posted increases this month.

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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