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Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Survey Finds Slow Growth; Improved Company Outlook

For immediate release: December 31, 2012

DALLASTexas factory activity edged up in December, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

Texas produces more than 9 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—rose from 1.7 to 2.7, which is consistent with slow growth.

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

The capacity utilization index returned to positive territory with a reading of 1.8. The shipments index jumped to 11.3 after a reading near zero last month. The new orders index, however, remained near zero, suggesting demand was flat in December.

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved in December. The general business activity index emerged from negative territory, rising to 6.8 as a result of a drop in the share of contacts reporting that conditions worsened. The company outlook index also turned positive, jumping 14 points to 9.2, its best reading since March.

Labor market indicators were flat in December. The employment index came in at –1, its lowest reading in more than two years, and the hours worked index turned positive after two months in negative territory; however, at a reading of 1, it suggested hours worked barely changed.

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


Media contact:
James Hoard
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: 214-922-5307