- Looks steady to me, boss.
Dallas Fed’s January Texas Manufacturing Outlook survey showed a notable drop in its general business activity index, to 10.9 from 15.8. Ten of 15 monthly indicators fell in January vs December.
The production indicator collapsed more than 15 points to just 0.2, while capacity utilization fell to 4.1 from 18.8. Of the five indicators that increased, the two biggest jumps were in prices paid for raw materials (spike to 62 from 43) and prices received for finished goods (to 19.4 from 11.9).
And the Dallas Fed’s key takeaway: “Texas factory activity held steady” in January.
Held “steady”? They must be redefining the term, because last we checked, the word meant “firmly fixed or stable”; “Not changing movement, direction or quality.” There’s nothing “steady” about this report, citizens. Feel free to take a look for yourselves.
The implications for inflation expectations look particularly unsteady. “Sixty percent of respondents anticipate further increases in raw materials prices over the next six months, while 40 percent expect higher finished goods prices,” the report says.
Addendum: Don’t miss the last two pages of the report, with comments from businesses on their hiring plans. Here’s a little taste from a commenter in food manufacturing:
We need significantly more business to justify hiring additional people. In this uncertain economy and with little peace of mind about what regulations or policies might be implemented…we will not hire anyone until we absolutely need them.
Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons.