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Economy in Brief

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Activity Index Deteriorates
by Tom Moeller  February 24, 2014

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported that its General Business Activity Index fell to 0.3 (SA) this month from 3.8 during January. It was the lowest level in nine months. Movement in the index components was mixed. The company outlook reading fell to its lowest level in nine months and new orders volume growth slipped. Production and employment moved up m/m but have been trendless since the middle of last year. Finally, the capital expenditures index declined sharply but the length of the workweek jumped to its highest point since early 2011. The prices received index was improved versus last year but wages & benefits surged to the highest level since January 2008.

The index of business activity in six months deteriorated to a three month low. Measures of company outlooks, new orders volumes, production and business activity all declined. Wages and the length of the workweek, six months hence, also fell sharply.

Each index is calculated by subtracting the percentage reporting a decrease from the percentage reporting an increase. When all firms report that activity has increased, an index will register 100. An index will register -100 when all firms report a decrease. An index will be zero when the number of firms reporting an increase or decrease is equal. Items may not add up to 100% because of rounding. The data can be found in Haver's SURVEYS database.

Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey Feb Jan Dec Feb '13 2013 2012 2011
General Business Activity Index (SA) 0.3 3.8 3.7 1.8 2.2 -0.5 -0.5
  Company Outlook 3.4 15.9 16.3 5.6 7.4 4.2 6.8
  Production 10.8 7.1 6.0 5.8 9.8 8.7 6.9
  New Orders Volume 9.5 14.4 1.3 3.2 7.2 1.4 5.7
  Number of Employees 9.9 8.6 7.4 1.8 5.6 11.8 8.9
  Prices Received for Finished Goods 11.2 11.0 6.1 3.9 2.9 0.9 9.2
  Wages & Benefits 25.8 21.6 22.2 12.3 16.6 16.7 14.5
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