Monday, February 25, 2013

Dallas Fed: Regional Manufacturing Activity increases in February but at a Slower Pace

by Bill McBride on 2/25/2013 10:39:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Increases but at a Slower Pace

Texas factory activity expanded in February, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell from 12.9 to 6.2, suggesting growth continued but at a slower pace.

... The new orders index was positive for the second month in a row, although it fell from 12.2 to 2.8.

... The general business activity index was positive for the third month in a row, although it dipped from 5.5 to 2.2.

Labor market indicators were mixed in February. Hiring slowed with the employment index moving down to 2.0, and about 17 percent of employers reporting hiring and 15 percent noting layoffs. The average workweek index dipped into negative territory with a reading of –3.0, suggesting hours worked declined.

Expectations regarding future business conditions continued to reflect optimism. The index of future general business activity edged up from 9.2 to 10.8. The index of future company outlook remained unchanged at 20.1.
This was slightly below expectations of a reading of 4.0 for the general business activity index and suggest sluggish growth.