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manufacturing activity Archives - Shopfloor

Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Growth Picked Up in June

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The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity in its district picked up somewhat in June, bouncing back from May’s more-sluggish expansion. The composite index of general business activity rose from 1 in May to 7 in June. While the sector has grown for eight straight months in the region, activity has eased from March’s seven-year high (22). Manufacturers in the mid-Atlantic area were more optimistic about new orders (up from zero to 6), shipments (up from -2 to 11) and capacity utilization (up from -9 to 1). Hiring (down from 6 to 5) has expanded in every month so far in 2017, albeit at a slower pace than in February and March. Despite those mostly positive trends, the backlog of orders (up from -15 to -4) and the average workweek (down from -3 to -5) remained in contraction territory in June.   Read More

Dallas Fed: Manufacturers Expanded More Slowly in June, Remain Upbeat in their Outlook

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The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank reported that manufacturing activity accelerated in June for the ninth straight month, but the pace of growth slowed a little. The composite index of general business activity decreased from 17.2 in May to 15.0 in June. Overall, the data reflect some progress in the Texas economy, with the headline index jumping from an average of 4.0 in the second half of 2016 to 18.8 in the first half of 2017. The sample comments reflect improvements relative to this time last year, but they also admit that activity has weakened more recently – although still positive. Respondents once again noted difficulties in identifying qualified workers, especially as the labor market has tightened. Read More

New Durable Goods Orders Fell for the Second Straight Month in May

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The Census Bureau said that growth in new durable goods orders fell for the second straight month in May, down 1.1 percent. New orders decreased from $230.7 billion in April to $228.2 billion in May. With that said, much of the decline in May stemmed from a drop in defense and nondefense aircraft and parts, down 30.8 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively, which can often be quite volatile from month to month. Excluding transportation, new orders for durable goods edged up 0.1 percent from $152.6 billion to $152.8 billion. Despite the weaker overall data in this release, new durable goods orders have generally trended in the right direction over the course of the past 12 months, growing modestly. New durable goods have risen 2.7 percent since May 2017, but excluding transportation, the year-over-year gain was a more robust 5.5 percent. Read More

Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing Activity Continued to Expand Modestly in June

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The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity expanded for the seventh straight month and continued to expand at a modest pace in June. The composite index of general business conditions increased from 8 in May to 11 in June, its highest reading since March’s six-year high (20). In general, manufacturers report notable improvements in activity relative to this time last year, even as sentiment has pulled back somewhat from stronger numbers at the beginning of 2017. Encouragingly, several of the key indices in May shifted strongly higher, including shipments (up from 3 to 23), production (up from -1 to 23), employment (up from 11 to 15) and the average workweek (up from 1 to 7). A couple of the sample comments cited difficulties in hiring new workers. On the other hand, new orders (down from 9 to 4) and export orders (down from 4 to 3) slowed a little in this report but remained positive indicators. Read More

Philly Fed: Manufacturing Expanded Strongly in June Once Again

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that manufacturing activity expanded strongly in June once again. The composite index of general business activity decreased from 38.8 in May to 27.6 in June. To illustrate this recent progress, the headline index has averaged 31.4 through the first half of 2017, peaking at 43.3 in February, which was the best reading since November 1983. For comparison purposes, the average in the second half of 2016 was 9.1. In fact, growth in new orders (up from 25.4 to 25.9) accelerated in June, with nearly 45 percent of survey respondents saying that demand had risen since May. At the same time, other measures softened a bit in this release, even as they continued to expand at decent rates. Those included shipments (down from 39.1 to 28.5), employment (down from 17.3 to 16.1) and the average workweek (down from 21.7 to 20.5). Read More

New York Fed: Manufacturing Activity Bounced Back in June after a Softer May

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The Empire State Manufacturing Survey said that manufacturing activity bounced back in June after softening in May. The composite index of general business conditions rose from -1.0 in May, its first decline in nine months, to 19.8 in June, its fastest pace since September 2014. The strong rebound was buoyed by healthy accelerations in new orders (up from -4.4 to 18.1), shipments (up from 10.6 to 22.3) and the average workweek (up from 7.5 to 8.5). The percentage of respondents saying that orders had increased in the month rose from 20.7 percent in May to 35.1 percent in June. At the same time, hiring (down from 11.9 to 7.7) slowed somewhat, even as growth in employment remained modest. The labor market has generally improved, up in four of the past six months after contracting sharply in the ten months prior to that. Read More

Factory Orders Drifted Lower in April but Sustained Strong Year-Over-Year Gains

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The Census Bureau said that new factory orders edged down 0.2 percent in April, pulling back slightly from March’s fastest pace since November 2014. Much of that decline stemmed largely from a decrease in nondefense aircraft orders, down 9.1 percent, which can often be quite volatile from month-to-month. Excluding transportation, manufactured goods orders were up 0.2 percent. Durable goods orders fell by 0.8 percent, or off by 0.5 percent with transportation equipment excluded. In contrast, nondurable goods orders were up by 0.4 percent. Nonetheless, new factory orders – which have struggled mightily over the past couple years – have largely trended in the right direction more recently, up 3.8 percent since April 2016. Excluding transportation, the gains were slightly larger, up 6.0 percent year-over-year. Read More

ISM: Growth in Manufacturing Activity Essentially Unchanged in May, Expanding Modestly

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The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index reported that growth in activity remained essentially the same in May. The composite index edged marginally higher, up from 54.8 in April to 54.9 in May. On the reassuring front, it was the ninth consecutive monthly expansion in manufacturing activity in the United States, with the sector showing signs of progress after two years of notable challenges. The sample comments tend to echo those improvements, citing better economic conditions, a favorable outlook and increased difficulties in finding labor. At the same time, the headline index has drifted lower since February (57.7), and respondents continue to note some lingering headwinds and increased pricing pressures. The ISM report mostly mirrors other sentiment surveys, which have observed some pullbacks from multiyear highs post-election, even as they remain mostly encouraging. Read More

Dallas Fed: Manufacturers Continued to Express Expanding Activity

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The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank reported that manufacturing activity accelerated in May for the eighth straight month, picking up somewhat from April’s pace. The composite index of general business activity edged up from 16.8 in April to 17.2 in May. The headline number has averaged 19.2 over the past six reports, which would indicate significant progress from contracting conditions as recently as September. The recent gains in business confidence can be attributed largely to better energy commodity prices, improvements in the global economy and a post-election boost in optimism. Nonetheless, the sample comments also suggest challenges with identifying qualified workers and with increased pricing pressures. Read More

New Durable Goods Orders Declined in April, Ending Four Straight Months of Gains

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The Census Bureau said that growth in new durable goods orders declined 0.7 percent in April, ending four straight months of gains. New orders fell from $232.7 billion in April to $231.2 billion in March. With that said, much of the decrease in April stemmed from a drop in nondefense aircraft and parts orders, down 9.2 percent, which can often be quite volatile from month-to-month. Excluding transportation, new orders for nondurable goods were off by 0.4 percent, down from $153.3 billion to $152.7 billion. Despite the weaker data in this release, new durable goods orders have generally trended in the right direction lately after stalling for much of the past two years. New durable goods have edged up just 0.9 percent since April 2016, but excluding transportation, the year-over-year gain was 4.9 percent. Read More