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Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Picks Up in April, Business Outlook Improves Notably

For immediate release: April 28, 2014

DALLAS—Texas factory activity increased for the 12th month in a row in April, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

Texas produces more than 11 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 17.1 in March to 24.7 in April, reaching its highest level in four years and indicating stronger output growth.

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

Stronger manufacturing activity was reflected in other survey measures as well. The new orders index posted a four-year high, and the capacity utilization index rose to a multiyear high.

The shipments index fell but remained in positive territory, indicating the volume of shipments grew but at a slower pace than in March.

Perceptions of broader business conditions were markedly more optimistic in April. The general business activity index moved up for the second consecutive month, increasing from 4.9 to 11.7, and the company outlook index jumped to a four-year high, reflecting a sharp rise in optimism.

Labor market indicators reflected stronger employment growth and longer workweeks. The employment index rose, reaching its highest reading in more than two years, and the hours worked index spiked, indicating a sizeable increase in workweek length.

Expectations regarding future business conditions remained optimistic in April. The index of future general business activity rose, while the index of future company outlook was largely unchanged.

Indexes for future manufacturing activity moved up, pushing further into positive territory.

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
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-5288