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For immediate release: November 28, 2011

Dallas Fed Survey: Texas Manufacturing Activity Declines

DALLAS—Texas factory activity decreased in November, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

Texas produces more than 9.5 percent of total manufactured goods in the United States, ranking second behind California in factory production.

The production index—a key measure of state manufacturing conditions—dipped from 4.1 to –5.1, registering its first negative reading in two years.

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

The new orders index suggested deterioration of demand, falling to a negative reading after a year in positive territory.  Eighteen percent of manufacturers noted increased order volumes in November, compared with 23 percent reporting a decrease.

The shipments index edged down from 2.7 to –1.1, indicating the volume of shipments fell slightly. The capacity utilization index tumbled to –10.2 after several months of weak readings centered around zero.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions improved slightly in November. The general business activity index posted its second positive reading in a row. The company outlook index remained positive but moved down from 7.2 to 4.7.

Labor market indicators reflected continued labor demand growth, albeit at a slower pace. The employment index came in at 9, down from 15.1 in October.

Twenty-one percent of manufacturers reported hiring new workers, while 12 percent reported layoffs. The hours worked index continued to suggest average workweeks lengthened.

The Dallas Fed conducts the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey monthly to obtain a timely assessment of the state’s factory activity.

Media contact:
Alexander Johnson
Phone: (214) 922-5288