Tag: manufacturing activity

Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Activity Continues to Grow Modestly

The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity continued to expand modestly in January. The composite index of general business conditions edged marginally lower, down from 7 in December to 6 in January. While this represented a slower pace than the more-robust growth seen in October, when the composite index measured 20, it did represent the tenth consecutive monthly expansion in the Richmond Fed district. Moreover, growth in shipments (up from 5 to 10), capacity utilization (up from -5 to 9) and the average workweek (up from 4 to 8) accelerated for the month, which were encouraging signs. (continue reading…)

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Durable Goods Orders Were Disappointing in December

The Census Bureau said that new durable goods orders fell 3.4 percent in December, ending the year on a weak note. Orders for durable goods declined in four of the past five months. As such, manufacturing activity in the second half of 2014 was less-than-desired, providing a bit of a contrast with better demand and sentiment data elsewhere. The sluggish global economic environment probably played a role in this softness. On a year-over-year basis, durable goods orders have risen only 0.3 percent since December 2013. On the other hand, they were up 2.9 percent from the weather-related slowdown of January. (continue reading…)

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Dallas Fed: Reduced Energy Prices Have Weakened Manufacturing Activity

Texas manufacturers have been hurt by lower petroleum prices. The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity contracted in its district for the first time since May 2013, with reduced energy prices weakening demand and dampening the outlook. The composite index of general business activity has declined from 10.1 in November to 3.5 in December to -4.4 in January. The bulk of the sample comments, for instance, mentioned crude oil prices, both for those in the energy supply chain and from others who are worried about the impacts on the broader Texas economy.   (continue reading…)

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Kansas City Fed: Manufacturers Began the New Year on a Softer Note

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity slowed in January, beginning the new year on a softer note. The composite index of general business conditions dropped from 8 in December to 3 in January, its lowest level in five months. Underlying this figure, new orders (down from 14 to -8), production (down from 7 to -2), shipments (down from 8 to -5) and exports (down from zero to -7) declined for the month, and hiring (down from 8 to zero) stagnated. On the positive side, it was the 13th straight month with expanding levels of sentiment, and manufacturers remain mostly optimistic about the coming months. (continue reading…)

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Philly Fed: Manufacturing Activity Slowed in January, but Outlook Remains Strong

Manufacturers in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank district reported somewhat slower growth in January. The composite index of general business conditions fell from 24.3 in December to 6.3 in January, starting 2015 off on a slightly weaker note. Yet, it was the eleventh straight monthly expansion, and the composite index averaged a sky-high 25.1 in the second half of 2014. Some moderation in growth might have been expected at some point. (continue reading…)

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New York Manufacturers Expanded Again in January After Contracting in December

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey found that activity expanded again in January after contracting slightly in December. The New York Federal Reserve Bank’s composite index rose from -1.2 in December to 10.0 in January. (Note that historical data were revised this month to incorporate new seasonal adjustments.)

This was good news and a positive way to begin 2015, with increased sales (up from 0.4 to 6.1), shipments (up from 2.6 to 9.6) and employment (up from 8.3 to 13.7). Indeed, one-third of those responding to the survey said that there were increased new orders in January, up from 26.0 percent in December. Still, the average employee workweek 8.4) (up from -11.5 to -continue to narrow, despite some progress for the month. The workweek should begin to improve, however, with increased activity. (continue reading…)

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New Factory Orders Were Soft in November

The Census Bureau said that new factory orders were soft in November, down 0.7 percent from October. It was the fourth straight monthly decline. Overall, seasonally adjusted factory orders have increased only marginally year-to-date, up 0.7 percent, with a lot of volatility. New orders have ranged from a low of $481.2 billion in January to $558.2 billion in July, with the latter buoyed by a huge surge in aircraft orders. On the positive side, new factory orders averaged $501.7 billion through the first 11 months of 2014, or 3.4 percent more than the $485.4 billion average observed for all of 2013. (continue reading…)

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ISM: Slower Manufacturing Growth in December, but Notable Improvements from Earlier in the Year

The Institute for Supply Management said that growth in manufacturing activity slowed somewhat in December. The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped from 58.7 in November to 55.5 in December, its lowest level in six months. While this was disappointing, it is important to note that new orders (down from 66.0 to 57.3) and production (down from 64.4 to 58.8) continued to expand at decent levels, albeit with less strength that in prior months. Indeed, this was the first time since June that the new orders index had been below 60, and December’s production figure ended seven consecutive months with that index exceeding 60. (continue reading…)

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Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing Activity Picked Up Somewhat in December

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity picked up somewhat in December. The composite index of general business conditions increased from 7 in November to 8 in December, accelerating for the second straight month. More importantly, the indices for new orders (up from 1 to 12) and shipments (up from 7 to 15) reflect some strengthening in demand and output after a weaker-than-desired October and November in the district. The pace of production and hiring reflected decent growth, with measures for both unchanged for the month. Another positive was the continuing deceleration in raw material costs, with that index down from 20 in September to 5 in December. Reduced energy prices likely accounted for this shift in cost pressures. (continue reading…)

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Philly Fed: Manufacturing Activity Remained Strong in December

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that manufacturing activity remained strong in December. While the composite index dropped from 40.8 in November to 24.5 in December, that figure continues to reflect healthy gains in demand and output. The November data points were outliers in terms of their strength, with December’s report reflecting figures that were closer to the average of the second half of 2014 (27.0). Manufacturers in the Philly Fed region have cited marked improvements since the first half, when the composite index contracted in February and averaged just 10.3 over the first six months of the year. (continue reading…)

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