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Economy in Brief

Dallas Fed Factory Sector Indexes Improve; Outlook is Mixed
by Tom Moeller  July 28, 2014

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported that its July Composite index covering Texas factory sector activity improved to 12.7 from 11.4 in June. The latest figure was the highest since last September. The rise was driven by a jump in shipments growth to a new high, as well as an improved company outlook, higher production, new orders growth rate and a longer workweek. Remaining fairly stable m/m were growth in wages & benefits, prices received for finished goods, unfilled orders and capital expenditures. Declining moderately were employment and prices paid for raw materials, though both remained in the sideways trends of the last 6 or 12 months.

The Dallas Fed also surveys expectations for factory sector conditions in six months. The business activity figure rose modestly to 19.8 but remained in the sideways trend of the last seven months. Also moving sideways were the indexes covering the expected new orders growth rate and wages & benefits. Unfilled orders expectations improved as did the volume of shipments to a six-month high. Other component series deteriorated, however, including the company outlook, production and the employee workweek.

The diffusion indexes are calculated as the percentage of total respondents reporting increases minus the percentage reporting declines. Data for the Dallas Fed Survey can be found in Haver's SURVEYS database.

Texas Manufacturing Survey Offers Advance Look at State and National Economies from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is available here.

Dallas Federal Reserve Manufacturing Outlook Survey (SA) Jul Jun May Jul '13 2013 2012 2011
General Business Activity Versus One Month Ago (% Balance) 12.7 11.4 8.0 4.8 2.2 -0.5 -0.5
   New Orders Volume 13.0 6.5 3.8 12.4 7.2 1.4 5.7
   Wages & Benefits 18.8 18.8 20.1 16.1 16.6 16.7 14.5
   Prices Received for Finished Product 7.3 7.4 5.6 -0.6 2.9 0.9 9.2
General Business Activity Six Months Ahead 19.8 18.7 11.8 11.6 11.0 7.6 10.0
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