Overall industrial production is rising. It rose in January of this year, moved sideways through the Spring, and then moved higher again 5 months ago.
We see the exact same pattern with capacity utilization.
The ISM number dropped sharply in May of this year and has been hovering just above 50 for the remainder of the year. However, the overall number is still positive.
Over the last two months, the new orders component of the ISM figure has increased, as has
The employment number is still low, but also still in positive territory.
Finally, the overall trend for durable goods new orders is higher; however, it's been a bumpy ride. Orders peaked four months ago and have been drifting sideways since.
I covered the latest two Empire State and Philly Fed manufacturing indexes here. Both showed an overall increase, although both are still at levels just over expansion.
Here is the latest report from the Richmond Fed:
In November, the seasonally adjusted composite index of manufacturing activity — our broadest measure of manufacturing — increased six points to 0 from October's reading of −6. Among the index's components, shipments gained seven points to 1, while new orders edged up three points to finish at −2 and the jobs index steadied, moving up seven points to 0.The latest Dallas Fed number turned negative:
Most other indicators also suggested modest improvement. The index for backlogs of orders rose five points to finish at −10, while the capacity utilization indicator edged down two points to −6. Additionally, the delivery times index increased three points to end at 5, while our gauges for inventories were slightly lower in November. The finished goods inventories index fell five points to 18 and the raw materials inventory index lost ten points to end at 15.
Texas factory activity decreased in November, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, dipped from 4.1 to –5.1, registering its first negative reading in two years.The latest KC Fed was barely positive:
Other measures of current manufacturing conditions also indicated contraction in November. The new orders index suggested deterioration of demand, falling to –5.1 after a year in positive territory. Eighteen percent of manufacturers noted increased order volumes in November, compared with 23 percent noting a decrease. The shipments index edged down from 2.7 to –1.1, suggesting the volume of shipments fell slightly. The capacity utilization index tumbled to –10.2 after several months of weak readings centered around zero.
The month-over-month composite index was 4 in November, down from 8 in October and 6 in September (Tables 1 & 2, Chart). The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes. Manufacturing
activity slowed in nondurable goods factories, while growth increased in durable goods producing plants, particularly for aerospace and fabricated metal products. Most other month-over-month indexes also eased somewhat in November. The production and shipments indexes decreased to 0, and the new orders and order backlog indexes were negative. The employment index dropped to its lowest level of the year but remained slightly positive, and the new orders for exports index moderated slightly. Raw materials inventories continued to grow moderately, while the finished goods inventory index moved sharply higher.The Last Chicago Fed number increased and the overall trend of this number has been positive for some time:
The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI) increased 0.7% in October, to a seasonally adjusted level of 85.5 (2007 = 100). Revised data show the index increased 0.2% in September. The Federal Reserve Board’s industrial production index for manufacturing (IPMFG) increased 0.5% in October. Regional output in October rose 7.3% from a year earlier, and national output increased 4.5%.Overall, the numbers in this part of the economy dropped in reaction to the Japanese situation, but never contracted into negative territory. In addition, over the last few months, the ISM new orders and production numbers are pointing to possible increases over the first part of next year.
Production in three of the four regional sectors increased in October:
• Regional auto sector production increased 2.3%;
• Regional resource sector output rose 0.5%;
• Regional machinery sector production moved up 0.3%; and
• Regional steel sector output decreased 0.4%.
The region’s auto sector production increased 2.3%