Dallas Fed: “Texas Manufacturing Activity Accelerates Sharply” in March

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Accelerates Sharply

Texas factory activity expanded at a markedly faster pace in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, surged 28 points to 48.0, its highest reading in the survey’s 17-year history.

Other measures of manufacturing activity also pointed to sharply faster growth this month. The new orders index rose 18 points to 30.5, and the growth rate of orders index rose 11 points to 22.7. The capacity utilization index rocketed from 16.5 to 46.1, an all-time high. The shipments index rose 17 points to 33.1.

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved markedly in March. The general business activity index posted another double-digit increase, rising 12 points to 28.9. The company outlook index shot up 15 points to 25.8, its highest reading since mid-2018. The outlook uncertainty index edged down to 5.5.

Labor market measures indicated robust growth in employment and work hours. The employment index came in at 18.8, up from 12.7 and well above average.
emphasis added

This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for March.

Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index:

Fed Manufacturing Surveys and ISM PMI Click on graph for larger image.

The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (yellow, through March), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through March) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through February (right axis).

The ISM manufacturing index for March will be released on Thursday, April 1st. Based on these regional surveys, the ISM manufacturing index will likely increase from the February level (the consensus is for an increase to 61.2 from 60.8 in February).