Industrial Activity - August 2010

The Southeast Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for July indicated that manufacturing growth continued to slow.

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

The truck tonnage index for July increased for the eighth consecutive month on a year-over-year basis.

  • The American Trucking Associations' (ATA) index for July increased to 110, a 7.9 percent increase from weak year-earlier levels. The index posted a slight gain from June.

The value of international shipments passing though District ports in June continued to improve. Exports led growth while imports were still lagging behind 2009 levels.

  • On a year-over-year basis, regional import shipments fell 3.6 percent in June while exports increased 1.2 percent.
  • Imports declined in New Orleans, Mobile, and Tampa. Export values increased in Miami, New Orleans, and Savannah.

Gulf Coast crude oil inventories have declined since early April as seasonal fuel consumption helped draw down stocks.

  • In line with seasonal patterns of stock depletion during the summer months, Gulf Coast crude oil inventories have declined 2 percent since early April, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
  • Inventories, however, have averaged 182 million barrels during the three weeks ending August 20, above the seasonal high 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 percent from a year earlier.
  • 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 110,000 barrels per day in 2010. Of the increase, the Gulf of Mexico is expected to produce 120,000 barrels per day, which will likely offset declines elsewhere.
  • The EIA also estimates that the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico will result in a loss of crude oil production in 2011 of an average of 82,000 barrels per day.

District vehicle production through August advanced strongly from low levels in 2009, according to data from Automotive News.

  • When compared with year-earlier levels, District vehicle production through August 28 improved for all automakers with assembly facilities in the Southeast.
  • District production jumped 76 percent from last year's levels, a faster improvement than the nation's 56 percent rise.
  • Hyundai-Kia and Nissan account for almost two-thirds of the District's total vehicle production in 2010.