Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Stalls in April
For immediate release: April 29, 2013
DALLAS—Texas factory activity was flat in April, 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 9.9 to –0.5. The near-zero reading indicates output was little changed from March levels.
Positive readings in the survey generally indicate expansion of factory activity, while readings below zero generally indicate contraction.
Ebbing growth in manufacturing activity was reflected in other survey measures as well. The capacity utilization index fell to 2.7, the shipments index fell to zero and the new orders index fell to –4.9, posting its first negative reading this year.
Perceptions of broader business conditions worsened in April. The general business activity index plummeted from 7.4 to –15.6, reaching its lowest level since July 2012, and the company outlook index declined from 9.6 to –2.2.
Labor market indicators remained mixed. The employment index has been in positive territory so far in 2013 and moved up to 6.3 in April, but the hours worked index pushed further negative, from –2.4 to –6.5.
Input price pressures abated in April. The raw materials price index dropped from 19.1 to 2.5, posting its lowest reading since last July.
Expectations regarding future business conditions fell markedly in April. The index of future general business activity fell 22 points to –6.7, its first negative reading in five months.
Indexes for future manufacturing activity fell slightly this month.
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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