Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Growth Slows
For immediate release: April 30, 2012
DALLAS—Texas factory activity increased in April but at a slower pace, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.
Texas produces more than 9 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—fell from 11.1 to 5.6, suggesting growth continued but at a slower pace than last month.
Positive readings in the survey generally indicate expansion of factory activity, while readings below zero generally indicate contraction.
Other measures of current manufacturing conditions stagnated in April. The capacity utilization index came in at 1.4, down markedly from 12.3 in March, with a quarter of respondents noting decreases.
Shipment volumes were flat in April after increasing for the previous three months. New orders posted a near-zero reading for the second consecutive month.
Perceptions of broader economic conditions worsened in April. The general business activity index turned negative after three months of positive readings, falling from 10.8 to –3.4.
Employment growth continued in April, but at a much slower pace than in previous months. Nineteen percent of firms reported hiring new workers, while 7 percent reported layoffs.
The wages and benefits index moved down from 21 to 15.2. The finished goods price index was negative for a second month in a row and edged down to –5.4.
Input prices and wages increased at a slower pace in April, and selling prices declined. The raw materials price index was 21.2, down from 27.7 in March.
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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