who would have thought?…
Dallas Fed Mfg Survey
Texas factory activity was flat in January. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, came in at 0.7, indicating output was essentially unchanged from December.
Other survey measures also reflected sluggish activity during the month. The capacity utilization index fell to 5.1, its lowest reading in five months. The shipments index plunged from 20.8 to 6, due to a much higher share of respondents noting a decline in shipments in January than in December. The new orders index moved down from 2.7 to minus 7.7, registering its first negative reading since April 2013.
Perceptions of broader business conditions worsened this month, with both the general business activity index and the company outlook index dropping below zero for the first time in 20 months. The general business activity index dropped to minus4.4, and the company outlook index fell 13 points, coming in at minus3.8.
Labor market indicators reflected unchanged workweeks but continued employment increases. The employment index was 9.0 in January, slightly below last month’s level but close to its average reading over the past two years. Twenty percent of firms reported net hiring compared with 11 percent reporting net layoffs. The hours worked index edged down from 0.7 to minus 0.1, indicating no change in hours worked in January. Wage pressures eased, while input and selling prices declined in January.
Indexes reflecting future business conditions fell notably in January. The index of future general business activity plummeted from 13 to minus 6.4. The index of future company outlook plunged from 21.8 to 2.5, its lowest reading in more than two years. Indexes for future manufacturing activity also declined this month but remained in positive territory.