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Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Picks Up in March

For immediate release: March 25, 2013

DALLASTexas factory activity increased in March, 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 6.2 to 9.9, indicating a slightly faster pace of output growth. The share of manufacturers noting a decrease in production fell to its lowest level in two years.

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

Other survey measures also suggested a pickup in manufacturing activity, with the new orders and shipments indexes moving up strongly in March.

Perceptions of broader business conditions improved in March. The general business activity index rose from 2.2 to 7.4, reaching its highest level in a year.

The employment index has been in positive territory so far in 2013 and edged up to 2.6 in March.

Upward pressure on prices increased slightly in March. The raw materials price index rose to 19.1, up from 15.8 in February, and the finished goods price index increased from 4.6 to 7.2, suggesting selling prices rose at a stronger pace in March.

Looking ahead, 44 percent of respondents anticipate further increases in raw materials prices over the next six months, while 27 percent expect higher finished goods prices.

Expectations regarding future business conditions increased in March. The indexes of future general business activity and future company outlook reached their highest levels in five months, coming in at 15.5 and 21.6, respectively.

Indexes for future manufacturing activity also rose this month.

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