Industrial Activity - May 2010

The Southeast Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) expanded at a faster pace in April, increasing from 59.9 in March to 63.3 in April.

  • The Southeast PMI continued its ascent in April, gaining 3.4 index points for the month largely because of gains in new orders (+11.1) and production (+3.1).
  • The Southeast PMI is now just ahead of the national ISM PMI, which was at 60.4 for April.

The truck tonnage index for March registered its fourth consecutive month of positive year-to-year comparison.

  • The American Trucking Associations (ATA) index for March 2010 jumped 7.5 percent over March 2009, the largest year-over year gain since January 2005.
  • ATA economists noted that although demand and supply situations are steadily improving, it will take some time to make up the ground lost during the recession. They expect a moderate freight outlook that will depend on stable inventory flows.

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

  • Through the year ending March 2010, regional imports fell 19.4 percent from comparable year-earlier levels while exports dropped 7.9 percent.
  • All regional ports experienced declines in trade, with Mobile, New Orleans, and Tampa posting the biggest declines in imports and exports.

Gulf Coast crude oil inventories have continued to increase from their seasonal low in mid-December.

  • Despite a 2 percent decline in the first two weeks of May, crude stocks are near the top of their average range for this time of year.

Crude oil production in District states since the beginning of 2010 is up 11 percent from the same period in 2009.

  • District states produced an average of 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day since the beginning of 2010, up 8.6 percent from the same period in 2009.
  • According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) short-term outlook, national crude oil production averaged 5.32 million barrels per day in 2009 and is expected to increase by 190,000 barrels per day in 2010.

District vehicle production advanced strongly from low readings reported in 2009.