Monday, February 24, 2014

Dallas Fed Manufacturing: General Business Index Flat, Production Increases, Employment Increases

by Calculated Risk on 2/24/2014 10:38:00 AM

From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Picks Up Again but Less Optimism in Outlook

Texas factory activity increased for the tenth month in a row in February, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 7.1 to 10.8, indicating output grew at a slightly stronger pace than in January.

Other measures of current manufacturing activity also reflected a pick up. The capacity utilization index edged up to 9.1, with a quarter of manufacturers noting an increase. The shipments index rose again in February, coming in at 13.3. The new orders index continued to indicate demand growth and was 9.5, down from 14.4 in January but above the levels seen toward the end of last year.
The general business activity index fell to zero after eight positive readings in a row. The company outlook index also declined, from 15.9 to 3.4, hitting its lowest reading since last spring.

Labor market indicators reflected continued employment growth and longer workweeks. The February employment index edged up for a third consecutive month, rising to 9.9. Eighteen percent of firms reported net hiring compared with 8 percent reporting net layoffs. The hours worked index shot up from 3.4 to 12, reaching its highest level in more than two and a half years.
A mixed report, but the employment indexes were positive.