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Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey

Report in PDF

January 30, 2017

Texas Manufacturing Activity Continues to Expand

What's New This Month

This month's survey data include annual seasonal factor revisions. In January of each year, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas revises the historical data for the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey after calculating new seasonal adjustment factors. Annual seasonal revisions result in slight changes in the seasonally adjusted series. Read more information on seasonal adjustment. This month, manufacturers were also asked supplemental questions on exports and the impact of the energy industry. Read Special Questions results.

Texas factory activity increased for the seventh consecutive month in January, according to business executives responding to the 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.

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. Twenty-three percent of firms noted net hiring, compared with 17 percent noting net layoffs. The hours worked index moved up to 9.1, its strongest reading since the end of 2015.

Upward price pressures remained relatively strong, and wages continued to rise in January. The raw materials and finished goods prices indexes were nearly unchanged at 30.8 and 17.7, respectively. The wages and benefits index also held fairly steady at 20.8.

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.

Next release: Monday, February 27

The Dallas Fed conducts the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey monthly to obtain a timely assessment of the state’s factory activity. Data were collected Jan. 17–25, and 115 Texas manufacturers responded to the survey. Firms are asked whether output, employment, orders, prices and other indicators increased, decreased or remained unchanged over the previous month.

Survey responses are used to calculate an index for each indicator. Each index is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents reporting a decrease from the percentage reporting an increase. When the share of firms reporting an increase exceeds the share reporting a decrease, the index will be greater than zero, suggesting the indicator has increased over the prior month. If the share of firms reporting a decrease exceeds the share reporting an increase, the index will be below zero, suggesting the indicator has decreased over the prior month. An index will be zero when the number of firms reporting an increase is equal to the number of firms reporting a decrease. Data have been seasonally adjusted as necessary.


Click on links in the table for greater details. Historical data are available from June 2004 to the most current release month.

Business Indicators Relating to Facilities and Products in Texas
Current (versus previous month)
IndicatorJan IndexDec IndexChangeIndicator Direction*Trend** (Months)% Reporting Increase% Reporting
No Change
% Reporting Decrease

Production

11.9

14.8

–2.9

Increasing

7

31.2

49.4

19.3

Capacity Utilization

9.1

15.6

–6.5

Increasing

7

26.6

55.9

17.5

New Orders

15.7

10.1

+5.6

Increasing

3

36.0

43.7

20.3

Growth Rate of Orders

6.7

–1.1

+7.8

Increasing

1

26.2

54.2

19.5

Unfilled Orders

5.2

–2.3

+7.5

Increasing

1

17.4

70.3

12.2

Shipments

15.8

5.8

+10.0

Increasing

2

33.6

48.6

17.8

Delivery Time

–5.4

–7.9

+2.5

Decreasing

4

7.8

79.0

13.2

Materials Inventories

–5.3

–2.2

–3.1

Decreasing

18

17.8

59.1

23.1

Finished Goods Inventories

–8.8

–2.7

–6.1

Decreasing

3

14.9

61.4

23.7

Prices Paid for Raw Materials

30.8

30.0

+0.8

Increasing

11

31.3

68.2

0.5

Prices Received for Finished Goods

17.7

16.2

+1.5

Increasing

6

21.0

75.7

3.3

Wages and Benefits

20.8

19.8

+1.0

Increasing

86

22.3

76.2

1.5

Employment

6.1

–3.4

+9.5

Increasing

1

23.1

59.9

17.0

Hours Worked

9.1

3.1

+6.0

Increasing

3

23.2

62.7

14.1

Capital Expenditures

16.3

6.7

+9.6

Increasing

5

23.0

70.3

6.7

General Business Conditions
Current (versus previous month)
IndicatorIndexDec IndexChangeIndicator Direction*Trend** (Months)% Reporting Improved% Reporting
No Change
% Reporting Worsened

Company Outlook

25.0

19.4

+5.6

Improving

5

37.7

49.7

12.7

General Business Activity

22.1

17.7

+4.4

Improving

4

36.7

48.7

14.6

Business Indicators Relating to Facilities and Products in Texas
Future (six months ahead)
IndicatorJan IndexDec IndexChangeIndicator Direction*Trend** (Months)% Reporting Increase% Reporting
No Change
% Reporting Decrease

Production

53.9

54.8

–0.9

Increasing

95

61.9

30.1

8.0

Capacity Utilization

49.9

48.6

+1.3

Increasing

95

58.7

32.5

8.8

New Orders

55.2

48.0

+7.2

Increasing

95

61.8

31.5

6.6

Growth Rate of Orders

48.4

36.0

+12.4

Increasing

95

53.4

41.6

5.0

Unfilled Orders

16.6

10.9

+5.7

Increasing

16

22.6

71.4

6.0

Shipments

51.8

48.7

+3.1

Increasing

95

59.5

32.8

7.7

Delivery Time

4.4

5.7

–1.3

Increasing

2

11.2

82.1

6.8

Materials Inventories

3.7

1.9

+1.8

Increasing

2

19.5

64.7

15.8

Finished Goods Inventories

13.7

11.3

+2.4

Increasing

7

22.9

67.9

9.2

Prices Paid for Raw Materials

38.7

40.2

–1.5

Increasing

94

45.0

48.6

6.3

Prices Received for Finished Goods

32.8

26.0

+6.8

Increasing

12

37.3

58.2

4.5

Wages and Benefits

42.5

43.6

–1.1

Increasing

152

45.3

51.9

2.8

Employment

37.7

37.5

+0.2

Increasing

50

46.4

44.9

8.7

Hours Worked

14.3

14.2

+0.1

Increasing

8

23.5

67.2

9.2

Capital Expenditures

26.6

36.8

–10.2

Increasing

86

35.2

56.2

8.6

General Business Conditions
Future (six months ahead)
IndicatorIndexDec IndexChangeIndicator Direction*Trend** (Months)% Reporting Increase% Reporting
No Change
% Reporting Worsened

Company Outlook

48.8

47.1

+1.7

Improving

12

54.6

39.6

5.8

General Business Activity

43.7

42.5

+1.2

Improving

8

49.1

45.5

5.4

*Indicator direction refers to this month's index. If index is positive (negative), indicator is increasing (decreasing) or improving (worsening). If zero, indicator is unchanged.

**Number of months moving in current direction.

Data have been seasonally adjusted as necessary.

Questions regarding the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey can be addressed to Emily Kerr at emily.kerr@dal.frb.org.

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