The Dallas Fed joins other regional reports pointing to strength for the nation's factory sector. The production index did slow but remains in the double digits, at 11.9 in January vs a revised 14.8 for December. And new orders are on the rise, at 15.7 vs December's 10.1 for the strongest showing since April 2014.
Unfilled orders, at a modest looking 5.2, are the strongest since June 2012. Employment is another positive, at 6.1 vs minus 3.4 for the best showing since December 2015. And the general activity index underscores the strength, at 22.1 vs an upward revised 17.7 and the best reading since all the way back at the beginning of the cycle in April 2010. Price data show slightly increasing pressures while inventories, reflecting the production strength, are on the decline.
This report offers a special look at the oil patch, underscoring that 2-1/2 tough years following the price collapse for oil are finally behind the sector.