Anyone betting that manufacturing will continue to lead the US economic recovery might think twice after reading comments from survey respondents in Dallas Fed’s April Texas manufacturing outlook.
Similar to Philly Fed’s gauge last week, Dallas headline number tanked, to 8.1 from 24.1 in March. The Philly survey’s headline number fell to 18.5 from 43.4 in March, but unlike the Dallas survey, Philly doesn’t include respondent comments in its report.
Down in Texas there’s a fair measure of cautious optimism among survey respondents, and plenty of concern about high costs and soft demand. Here’s one from a plastics and rubber products manufacturer that sounds pretty good:
“We are very encouraged by the breadth of activity with our cross section of customers in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. It is not just a few companies with increased requirements for plastic parts, but pretty much all of our diverse customer base.”
Now here’s one from the other end of the spectrum, a furniture/related product manufacturer: “Our industry has hit another brick wall. Rapidly increasing costs and fuel costs have shocked the consumer away from any nonmandatory spending. They normally adjust, but it may take several months.” Continue reading…