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Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Strengthens in January

For immediate release: January 28, 2012

DALLASTexas factory activity rose sharply in January, 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 3.5 to 12.9, which is consistent with faster growth.

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

Other measures of current manufacturing activity also indicated stronger growth in January. The new orders index jumped 13 points to 12.2, its highest reading since March 2011.

The capacity utilization index shot up from 2.1 to 14.0, implying utilization rates increased faster than last month.

The shipments index rose 9 points to 21.9, indicating shipments quickened in January.

Perceptions of broader business conditions were more positive in January. The general business activity index increased from 2.5 to 5.5, and the company outlook index also rose sharply to 12.6, largely due to a drop in the share of firms reporting a worsened outlook.

Labor market indicators reflected a sharp increase in hiring. The employment index jumped out of negative territory to 8.7, with about 20 percent of employers reporting hiring and 11 percent noting layoffs.

Expectations regarding future business conditions improved slightly in January. The index of future general business activity ticked up from 7.1 to 9.2.

Indexes for future manufacturing activity moved up strongly this month.

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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Alexander Johnson
Phone: (214) 922-5288