Industrial Activity - November 2010

The Southeast Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for October indicated that the manufacturing sector grew slightly faster across the Sixth District.

  • The Southeast PMI, produced by the Kennesaw State University Econometric Center in conjunction with the Atlanta Fed, gained 0.8 index points in October. The index indicates that the manufacturing sector is expanding at a slightly faster pace.

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

The truck tonnage index for October climbed 6 percent from a year earlier.

  • The American Trucking Associations' (ATA) index for October increased 1 percent from September and 6 percent from October 2009.
  • October marks the 11th straight month in which tonnage volumes were up on a year-over-year basis.
  • ATA economists added that the monthly gain in October signals a slight peak in this year's domestic preholiday shipping season.

The value of international shipments passing though District ports continued to improve in September. Exports' and imports' pace improved from the previous month and a year earlier.

  • According to U.S. Department of Commerce data, on a year-over-year basis, the value of regional exports and imports for the year ending September increased 13.5 percent and 18.7 percent, respectively.
  • Exports and imports improved in all District ports, led by double-digit growth in Mobile, Miami, New Orleans, and Savannah.

Gulf Coast crude oil inventories remain above the seasonal average as economic woes and warmer-than-usual weather continue to suppress U.S. energy consumption.

  • Contrary to historical patterns of stock depletion during the summer through winter season, Gulf Coast crude oil inventories have risen 2 percent since mid-August, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
  • Inventories have averaged 189 million barrels during the five weeks ending Nov. 11, above the seasonal high of around 180 million for this time of year.

According to the EIA, crude oil production in the Sixth District continues on an upward trajectory.

  • District states produced an average of 1.6 million barrels of crude oil per day since the beginning of 2010, up 7 percent from a year earlier.
  • According to the EIA's short-term outlook, national crude oil production will increase by 140,000 barrels per day in 2010 before declining by 40,000 barrels per day in 2011 to an average of 5.4 million barrels per day. The EIA expects that production will decline by 160,000 barrels per day in 2011, on average, a decline that will be partially offset by increases elsewhere in the country.

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

  • Compared with a year earlier, District vehicle production through Nov. 27 improved for all automakers with assembly facilities in the Southeast.
  • Overall, District production jumped 61 percent from last year's levels, a faster improvement than the nation's 38 percent rise.
  • Hyundai-Kia and Nissan have accounted for about two-thirds of the District's total vehicle production so far in 2010.