Following missed expectations at the Philly Fed, Richmond Fed, Empire Fed, and PMIs; The Dallas Fed manufacturing survey smashed expectations - soaring to 33.4, the highest since Nov 2005.
The January print at 33.4 is above the highest analyst's estimate of 30.1...
Under the covers, things were not quite as exciting with capacity utilization weaker, weaker, wages weaker, hours worked weaker, and employment weaker.
The index surged on the back of a spike in 'hope' as Six months ahead business activity jumped.
Amid near record-low unemployment, respondents noted that:
Labor is still the largest problem facing our business. We are still unable to find candidates who can perform the basic duties of employment. First and foremost, show up to work, and second, on time.
We are experiencing large volume increases and demand for parts sooner than ordered, predominately in the automotive sector but in other markets as well. We are having difficulty finding new employees and are facing full capacity in the first quarter if sales continue at this level.
Also, we are raising existing production employees’ hourly rates and increasing our starting rate in production in an attempt to keep good employees and attract new ones.
Forcing some to admit reality:
We may not like the way things are communicated and the division in the country, but the policies are improving conditions for the workers and employers. We will be putting our tax savings and costs savings from a reduced regulatory environment back into expanding the business and hiring more people. The U.S. is more competitive internationally, but it’s still far from ideal. We increased salaries and bonuses as a way to retain top talent and hire more quality people. I hope we keep reducing burdensome regulations and start reducing waste, debt, corruption, ineffective programs and the overall size of the government.