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Growth in Texas Manufacturing Activity Picks up Pace in December, Says Dallas Fed Survey

For Immediate Release: Dec. 27, 2016

DALLAS—Texas factory activity increased for the sixth consecutive month in December, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

The production index—a key measure of state manufacturing conditions—rose five points to 13.8, suggesting faster output growth this month.

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

Other measures of current manufacturing activity indicated expansion, although demand growth remained slightly negative. The new orders index climbed nine points to 7.3, posting its first positive reading in four months.  However, the growth rate of orders index stayed slightly negative, edging down to –3.4. The capacity utilization index shot up 10 points to 13.8, its highest reading in more than two years. The shipments index rebounded from a dip into negative territory last month, climbing seven points to 4.7.  

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved again this month. The general business activity index posted a second consecutive positive reading and moved up to 15.5. The company outlook index posted a similar gain, increasing six points to a reading of 17.4.

Labor market measures indicated slight employment declines and modestly longer workweeks. The employment index dipped to –2.9 in December after three months in positive territory. The hours worked index came in at 2.7.

Expectations regarding future business conditions improved notably this month. The index of future general business activity advanced eight points to 39.7. The index of future company outlook posted a double-digit increase and came in at 46.8, its highest reading in 12 years. Other indexes for future manufacturing activity pushed higher in to positive territory.

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: Jennifer Chamberlain
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-6748
E-mail: jennifer.chamberlain@dal.frb.org