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Texas Manufacturing Expansion Continues in April, Says Dallas Fed Survey

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2017

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

The production index—a key measure of state manufacturing conditions—moved down three points to 15.4, 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.

“We saw another month of robust growth for Texas manufacturing in April, continuing a string of strong survey reports that point to growing momentum in the manufacturing recovery,” said Emily Kerr, Dallas Fed senior business economist. “A bright spot this month is in the survey’s demand indicators—the new orders and growth rate of orders indexes—which pushed higher into positive territory.”

The new orders and growth rate of orders indexes edged up to 11.5 and 5.1, respectively. The shipments index also moved up, rising three points to 9.5. The capacity utilization index fell slightly but stayed positive for a tenth month in a row, coming in at 11.5.

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved again. The general business activity index held steady at 16.8, and the company outlook index inched down but remained positive at 15.1.

Labor market measures indicated employment gains and longer workweeks in April. The employment index posted a fourth consecutive positive reading and remained unchanged at 8.5. The hours worked index fell three points to 5.9.

Expectations regarding future business conditions continued to improve, although several six-month-ahead indexes retreated from their March levels. The indexes of future general business activity and future company outlook came in at 27.1 and 26.2, respectively, down from last month’s 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.

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Media contact:
Alexander Johnson
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-5288
E-mail: alexander.johnson@dal.frb.org