Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trio Of Fed Reports

From the Chicago Federal Reserve:

The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI) increased 1.0% in September, to a seasonally adjusted level of 82.3 (2002 = 100). Revised data show the index rose 1.6% in August, to 81.6.

Here is a graph of the index:

Click for a larger image.

This index isn't printing as strongly as other regional indexes, largely because the Chicago index didn't start to rise until mid-year. But it is currently moving in the right direction. It rose because three of the four components increased last month:

Click for a larger image.

Then there is the Chicago Fed National Activity Index. Here is a chart of the three month moving average:

The best news from the chart is it is now at levels associated with national expansion:

But the Dallas Fed's number dropped last month:

Texas factory activity declined in October, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index—a key indicator of current manufacturing activity—edged further into negative territory, suggesting output in October contracted after remaining stable in September.

Here is the accompanying chart:

Overall the Dallas chart is also moving in the right direction; it has been in a clear upward trajectory since the beginning of the year. So far, this data point looks like an outlier to the general trend.

Overall, these three reports are good good news. We have two reports that show a brightening picture and a third that is still in an upward sloping trend.