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Texas Manufacturing Activity Expands Again in April, Says Dallas Fed Survey

For immediate release: April 25, 2016

DALLAS—Texas factory activity increased for a second month in a row in April, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

The production index—a key measure of state manufacturing conditions—rose from 3.3 in March to 5.8 in April, suggesting a slight pickup in output growth.

Positive readings in the survey generally indicate expansion of factory activity, while readings below zero generally indicate contraction.

Other indexes of current manufacturing activity also reflected growth this month. The new orders index rebounded into positive territory after four months of negative readings, coming in at 6.2. The growth rate of orders index jumped 11 points to –0.7 in April. The capacity utilization and shipments indexes posted their second positive reading in a row and climbed to 8.2 and 7.1, respectively.

Perceptions of broader business conditions remained pessimistic in April. The general business activity index held steady at –13.9, its 16th straight negative reading. The company outlook index posted a negative reading for the fifth consecutive month but rose from –11.0 to –5.9, showing signs of additional stabilization in April.

Labor market indicators reflected persistent weakness in April. The employment and hours worked indexes remained negative for the fourth straight month but rose to –3.7 and –1.0, respectively.

Expectations regarding future business conditions were mixed in April. The index of future general business activity fell 6 points to 0.4, while the index for future company outlook posted its third positive reading at 8.9. Indexes for future manufacturing activity rose and remained solidly positive.

Texas produces more than 11 percent of total manufactured goods in the United States, ranking second behind California in factory production.

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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Media contact:
Justin Jones
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-5449
Email: justin.jones@dal.frb.org