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Texas Manufacturing Activity Gains Momentum in October, Says Dallas Fed Survey

For Immediate Release: October 30, 2017

DALLAS—Texas factory activity expanded at a faster pace in October, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

The production index—a key measure of state manufacturing conditions—rose six points to 25.6 and reached its highest reading since April 2014.

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

“This month we saw another very positive report coming from the Texas manufacturing sector,” said Emily Kerr, Dallas Fed senior business economist. “The headline production index climbed to a level not seen since the oil bust, and several other key indexes reached levels last seen 10 years ago.”

Other measures of current manufacturing activity also indicated a pickup in growth. The new orders index climbed to a 10-year high of 24.8, and the growth rate of orders index moved up to 12.3. The capacity utilization index also pushed to its highest level in a decade at 22.5.

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved in October. The general business activity index increased to 27.6, its highest reading since 2006. The company outlook index posted its 14th consecutive positive reading, holding steady at an elevated 25.8.

Expectations regarding future business conditions remained highly optimistic. The index of future general business activity moved up four points to 38.5, while the index of future company outlook remained unchanged at 39.0. Other indexes of future manufacturing activity showed mixed movements but remained solidly in positive territory.

For this month’s Texas Business Outlook Surveys, respondents were asked supplemental questions on credit availability conditions in Texas.

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