Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Strengthened Further in March
For immediate release: March 31, 2014
DALLAS—Texas factory activity increased for the eleventh 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 10.8 to 17.1, indicating output grew at a stronger pace than in February.
Positive readings in the survey generally indicate expansion of factory activity, while readings below zero generally indicate contraction.
Stronger manufacturing activity was reflected in other survey measures as well. The new orders index rose to a nine-month high, and the shipments index posted its strongest reading in nearly four years.
Perceptions of broader business conditions were more optimistic in March. The general business activity index moved up to 4.9, reaching a six-month high after slipping to zero last month, and the company outlook index rebounded after falling sharply in February.
Labor market indicators reflected stronger employment growth and longer workweeks. The employment index rose markedly, reaching a 21-month high. The hours worked index decreased but remained positive for the third month in a row.
Expectations regarding future business conditions remained optimistic in March, with some indexes of future activity rising from their February levels while others edged down but stayed in solidly positive territory.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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