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Texas Manufacturing Continues Moderate Expansion, Employment Strengthens, Says Dallas Fed Survey

For Immediate Release: July 29, 2019

DALLAS—Texas factory activity continued to expand in July, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 8.9 to 9.3. Positive readings in the survey generally indicate expansion of factory activity, while readings below zero generally indicate contraction.

On the labor front, the employment index increased seven points to 16.0, and the hours worked index rose to 6.6.

“The July report reflected moderate expansion, with the production index continuing to oscillate around its long-run average,” said Emily Kerr, Dallas Fed senior business economist. “While we still see some weakness in the survey’s sentiment indicators—general business activity and company outlook—these indexes improved from June. One bright spot this month was stronger job gains, reflected by the employment index pushing up to a reading well above average.”

Here are some additional key takeaways from this month’s manufacturing report:

Perceptions of broader business conditions were less negative in July. The general business activity index rose six points to -6.3, and the company outlook index rose five points to ‑0.9.

Other measures of manufacturing activity suggested a slightly faster expansion. The new orders index edged up to 5.5, and the growth rate of orders index rebounded into positive territory, climbing nine points to 2.7. The capacity utilization index inched up to 11.2, and the shipments index jumped nine points to 10.2.

Manufacturers’ expectations about future business conditions improved. The index of future general business activity rose nine points to 6.0. The index of future company outlook moved up to 9.1. While positive, both readings remain well below average.

Texas produces around 10 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
Email: jennifer.chamberlain@dal.frb.org