Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Picks up Again in Februry; Less Optimism in Outlook
For immediate release: February 24, 2014
DALLAS—Texas factory activity increased for the tenth month in a row, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.
Texas produces more than 11 percent of total manufactured goods in the United States, ranking second behind California in factory production.
The production index—a key measure of state manufacturing conditions—rose from 7.1 to 10.8, indicating output grew at a slightly stronger pace than in January.
Positive readings in the survey generally indicate expansion of factory activity, while readings below zero generally indicate contraction.
Other measures of current manufacturing activity also indicated expansion in February. The capacity utilization index improved slightly, with a quarter of manufacturers noting an increase. The shipments index moved further into positive territory.
The new orders index, while down from January, continued to indicate demand growth.
Perceptions of broader business conditions were not as positive in February. The general business activity index fell to zero after eight positive readings, and the company outlook index declined markedly, hitting its lowest reading since last spring.
Labor market indicators reflected continued labor demand growth and longer workweeks. The employment index edged up for a third consecutive month, and the hours worked index increased significantly, reaching its highest level in more than two and a half years.
Expectations regarding future business conditions remained optimistic in February, although most indexes of future activity fell from their January levels.The Dallas Fed conducts the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey monthly to obtain a timely assessment of the state’s factory activity.
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