Industrial Activity - July 2010

The Southeast Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for June indicates manufacturing growth may be cooling across the Sixth District.

Note: A PMI over 50 indicates expanding manufacturing activity, below 50, contracting activity.

The truck tonnage index for May registered its sixth consecutive month of positive year-to-year comparison, but future tonnage level comparisons could be more challenging.

  • The American Trucking Associations (ATA) index for May increased to 109.6, a 7 percent increase from weak year-earlier levels. The index posted a slight drop from April.
  • Economists for the ATA noted that tonnage levels are likely to moderate in the months ahead as the economy decelerates and year-to-year comparisons become harder.

The value of international shipments passing though District ports in early 2010 continued to decline but at a much slower pace than in late 2009.

  • Through the year ending May 2010, regional import shipments fell 9.2 percent from year-earlier levels while exports dropped 1.8 percent.
  • Imports declined at most regional ports, with New Orleans and Tampa posting the biggest declines. Export values increased in Miami, New Orleans, and Savannah.

Gulf Coast crude oil inventories have declined since early April as seasonal fuel consumption helps draw down stocks, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

  • In line with seasonal patterns of stock depletion during the summer months, Gulf Coast crude oil inventories have declined 6 percent since early April.
  • Inventories, however, remain near the top of their average range for this time of year.

According to the EIA, crude oil production in the Sixth District continued on a slow upward trajectory.

  • District states produced an average of 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day since the beginning of 2010, up 6.5 percent from the same period in 2009.
  • According to the EIA's short-term outlook, national crude oil production averaged 5.32 million barrels per day in 2009 and is expected to increase by 75,000 barrels per day in 2010.
  • The EIA estimates that the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico will result in a loss of crude oil production of about 31,000 barrels per day in 2010 and 82,000 barrels per day in 2011, on average.

District vehicle production through mid-July 2010 advanced strongly from low levels in 2009.

  • When compared with year-earlier levels, District vehicle production through July 17 improved for all automakers with assembly facilities in the Southeast.
  • District production jumped 85 percent from last year's levels, a faster improvement than the nation's 68 percent rise.
  • Hyundai-Kia and Nissan account for almost two-thirds of the District's total vehicle production in 2010.