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Texas Manufacturing Activity Continues to Strengthen in March, Says Dallas Fed Survey

For Immediate Release: Mar. 27, 2017

DALLASTexas factory activity increased for the ninth consecutive month in March, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

The production index—a key measure of state manufacturing conditions—rose two points to 18.6, suggesting output growth picked up 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 inched down to 9.5, while the growth rate of orders index inched up to 3.2, registering a third positive reading in a row. The capacity utilization and shipments indexes moved down but stayed positive, posting readings of 13.2 and 6.5, respectively.

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved again in March. The general business activity index fell eight points but remained positive at 16.9, and the company outlook index was largely unchanged at 17.9.

Labor market measures indicated employment gains and longer workweeks. The employment index posted a third consecutive positive reading and edged down from 9.6 to 8.4. Upward price pressures eased a bit in March, and wages continued to rise at about the same pace.

Expectations regarding future business conditions continued to improve. The indexes of future general business activity and future company outlook came in at 36.3 and 39.1, respectively—exhibiting mixed movements from their February readings but still solidly in 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.


Media contact:
Jennifer Chamberlain
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-6748