From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Expansion Moderates
Texas factory activity continued to expand in January, albeit at a markedly slower pace, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell from 26.8 to 4.6, indicating a sharp deceleration in output growth.
Other measures of manufacturing activity also point to more muted growth this month. The new orders index dropped 13 points to 6.3, and the growth rate of orders index fell from 15.9 to 5.9. The capacity utilization index declined 10 points to 9.2, and the shipments index fell from 23.4 to 13.5.
Perceptions of broader business conditions continued to improve in January. The general business activity index remained positive but edged down from 10.5 to 7.0. The company outlook index also stayed in positive territory but retreated, from 18.2 to 10.3. Uncertainty regarding companies’ outlooks continued to rise; the index increased six points to 19.3.
Labor market measures indicated slightly slower growth in employment and a continued increase in work hours. The employment index came in at 16.6, down from 20.9 but still indicative of increased head counts.