Last updateThu, 22 Mar 2018 4pm


Texas Manufacturing Growth Moderates in January

Texas factory activity continued to expand in January but moderated from the rapid expansion seen in December, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

Several measures of manufacturing activity pointed to slower growth. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, remained elevated but retreated to 16.8 in January after surging to an 11-year high in December. The new orders index moved down from 30.1 to 25.5, and the growth rate of orders index fell six points to 15.5. The capacity utilization index stayed positive but dropped 12 points to 14.5, while the shipments index rose six points to 27.1, indicating a pickup in growth. Perceptions of broader business conditions remained highly positive. 

Mid-America Index Down Slightly in January

The January Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index sank to a solid reading for the month, pointing to healthy growth for the next three to six months. The Business Conditions Index, which ranges between 0 and 100, slipped to a healthy 57.3 from December’s robust 59.0. This is the 14th straight month the index has remained above growth neutral, continuing to point to positive growth for the region over the next three to six months.

Looking ahead six months, economic optimism, as captured by the January Business Confidence climbed to 80.5 from December’s strong 73.2. 

U.S. Consumer Confidence Rose in January

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in January, following a decline in December. The index now stands at 125.4, up from 123.1 in December. The present situation index decreased slightly, from 156.5 to 155.3, while the expectations index increased from 100.8 last month to 105.5 this month. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions was slightly less positive in December.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook improved in January, following a sharp decline in December. The likelihood of consumers anticipating business conditions to improve over the next six months increased marginally, from 21.6% to 22.0%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen increased from 9.0% to 9.8%. 

U.S. Manufacturing Expanding Near Fastest Rate Since 2004

Manufacturing expanded in January as the PMI registered 59.1%, a decrease of 0.2% from the seasonally adjusted December reading of 59.3%. "This indicates growth in manufacturing for the 17th consecutive month at strong levels led by continued expansion in new order and production activity, with employment growing at a slower rate and supplier deliveries continuing to struggle," says Timothy R. Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

"New Orders expansion continues at a strong pace, with the index at nine straight months at 60% or above." 

U.S. Added 200,000 Jobs in January

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 200,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Employment continued to trend up in construction, restaurants, health care and manufacturing.

In January, employment in manufacturing remained on an upward trend (+15,000). Durable goods industries added 18,000 jobs. Manufacturing has added 186,000 jobs over the past 12 months. 



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