Following disappointing Manufacturing and Services PMIs last week, this week has not started well for the hope embedded in ‘soft’ survey data. After six straight months higher, The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Outlook slumped in March (down 7.6pts to 16.9). This is the biggest drop since Jan 2016 and was lower than all estimates.
New Orders, Inventories, and number of employees all tumbled. Prices Paid and Received fell (but the latter consierably more than the former).
Hope for the future also declined for the second month in a row – with Capex, employment, and new order expectations tumbling.
Some interesting perspectives from respondents…
- The price of oil has been disappointing for the major players and is affecting their maintenance and capital spending levels. Traditionally this should be one of our busiest times of the year, but the uptick normally seen has not materialized. Our major concern is the summer, which for our industry is seasonally the slowest time of the year. It could be difficult.
- As oil and gas goes, so goes our economy.
- Brexit and tumult in Europe will have a significant impact on our export sales. The proposed border adjustment tax is going to clobber our cost of goods sold. It is not looking good for medical devices.
‘Soft’ data is rolling over (as it always has in the past) and catching down to ‘hard’ data’s reality…