Industrial Activity - January 2011

The Southeast Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for December indicated that the manufacturing sector grew at a faster pace across the Sixth District.

  • The Southeast PMI, produced by the Kennesaw State University Econometric Center in conjunction with the Atlanta Fed, gained 2.5 index points in December. The index indicates that the Sixth District's manufacturing sector is expanding at a faster pace.

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

The truck tonnage index for November was 3.3 percent higher than a year earlier though the ATA Tonnage Index fell 0.1 percent from October.

  • The American Trucking Associations' (ATA) index for November decreased 0.1 percent from October, though tonnage was up 3.3 percent from a year earlier.
  • Truck tonnage, according to this index, has been increasing for 12 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis.
  • ATA economists added that the monthly decline in November is not troubling news considering strong gains in prior months. Tonnage is expected to increase modestly in the first half of 2011, with growth accelerating in the second half of the year.

The value of imports and exports passing through Sixth District ports declined from October to November, with exports falling faster than imports.

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, on a year-over-year basis, the value of regional exports and imports for November 2010 increased 23.5 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively.
  • Levels of exports decreased faster than levels of imports at District ports from October to November, though both imports and exports were up in Mobile and New Orleans.

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.
  • Levels of exports decreased faster than imports at District ports in November.

Gulf Coast crude oil inventories have declined from November highs as cooler weather and holiday travel boosted fuel consumption.

  • Following nearly four months above seasonal averages, Gulf Coast crude oil inventories declined 16 percent between Nov. 4 and Jan. 13, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Stocks usually decline during the winter months as winter weather and holiday travel boost fuel consumption, while production typically declines as producers take capacity offline to retool equipment.
  • Inventories have averaged 170 million barrels during the five weeks ending Jan. 13, around the seasonal low for this time of year.

According to the EIA, crude oil production in the Sixth District declined in December and early January.

  • District states produced an average of 1.6 million barrels of crude oil per day in 2010, up 8 percent from a year earlier.
  • According to the EIA's short-term outlook, national crude oil production, which averaged 5.51 million barrels per day in 2010, will decline by 20,000 barrels per day in 2011. The EIA expects a 220,000 barrel per day decline in Gulf of Mexico production to be mostly offset by increases elsewhere in the country this year.