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Monday, September 24, 2012

Dallas Fed: Texas factory activity increased in September

by Calculated Risk on 9/24/2012 10:38:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Growth Picks Up

Texas factory activity increased in September, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 6.4 to 10, suggesting stronger output growth.

Other measures of current manufacturing activity also indicated growth in September. The new orders index rose to 5.3 following a reading of zero last month, suggesting a pickup in demand. The capacity utilization index advanced from 1.7 to 9.3, largely due to fewer manufacturers noting a decrease. The shipments index rose to 4.5, bouncing back into positive territory after falling to -2.3 in August.

Indexes reflecting broader business conditions were mixed. The general business activity index remained slightly negative but edged up from -1.6 to -0.9. The company outlook index was positive for the fifth month in a row but fell slightly to 2.4 from a reading of 4.1 in August.

Labor market indicators reflected slower labor demand growth and slightly longer workweeks. The employment index remained positive but fell to 5.9, its lowest reading in more than a year. Sixteen percent of firms reported hiring new workers, while 10 percent reported layoffs. The hours worked index moved up from -0.9 to 2.8.
This is still weak, and the general business activity index has been negative 5 of last 6 months.