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Texas factory activity increased for the seventh consecutive month in January

For Immediate Release: Jan. 30, 2017

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

The production index—a key measure of state manufacturing conditions—edged down but remained positive at 11.9, suggesting output growth continued but at a slightly slower pace 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 also indicated expansion. The new orders index climbed to a multiyear high of 15.7, while the growth rate of orders index returned to positive territory, rising 8 points to 6.7. The capacity utilization index posted a seventh positive reading in a row, although it moved down to 9.1 this month. The shipments index rose 10 points to 15.8, with more than a third of manufacturers noting a rise in shipment volumes from December.

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved further this month. The general business activity index posted a fourth consecutive positive reading and moved up to 22.1, its highest reading since April 2010. The company outlook index pushed up to 25.0, also a level not seen since 2010.

Labor market measures indicated employment gains and longer workweeks. The employment index bounced back to 6.1 after dipping into negative territory last month. The hours worked index moved up to 9.1, its strongest reading since the end of 2015.

Expectations regarding future business conditions generally improved this month. The index of future general business activity edged up to 43.7. The index of future company outlook also inched up, coming in at 48.8. Most other indexes of future manufacturing activity pushed higher into positive territory.

For this month’s Texas Business Outlook Surveys, respondents were asked special questions on the impact of exports and energy industry activity on their business.

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