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Economy in Brief

Texas Factory Sector Activity Outlook Suggests Continued Growth
by Tom Moeller  November 24, 2014

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas indicated that business conditions remained positive this month. There were numerous indications, however, of slower growth. The overall business activity index improved m/m as well as y/y. Behind the overall number, however, was a deterioration in the production component to its lowest level since December. The volume of new orders also fell to its lowest level in three months and the company outlook measure deteriorated modestly. Employment growth eased to its lowest level in six months while pricing power improved moderately to its best in nine months.

Expected business conditions, nevertheless, improved slightly. The reading for expected business activity recovered m/m but remained below the December high. The company outlook deteriorated. The production outlook remained in the range of the last several months but was reduced from the December high. Expected new orders volumes were stable at a level moderated from last year's highs, but expected shipments volumes improved modestly. Future wages & benefits paid improved slightly but also remained below their January high.

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. Data for the Texas Manufacturing Outlook can be found in Haver's SURVEYS database.

Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey (SA) Nov Oct Sep Nov '13 2013 2012 2011
Current General Business Activity Index (% Balance) 10.5 10.5 10.8 2.0 2.2 -0.5 -0.5
   Production 6.0 13.7 17.6 15.8 9.8 8.7 6.9
   New Orders Volume 5.6 14.2 7.5 7.1 7.2 1.4 5.7
   Number of Employees 9.6 10.2 10.6 5.4 5.6 11.8 8.9
   Prices Received for Finished Goods 9.7 7.1 7.0 2.4 2.9 0.9 9.2
Expected Conditions in Six Months 18.3 13.3 12.1 8.8 11.0 7.6 10.0
   Production 40.9 41.2 40.0 36.9 37.1 32.4 40.2
   New Orders Volume 37.6 38.1 34.6 37.0 34.3 29.5 37.1
   Wages & Benefits 42.3 40.8 40.7 49.0 38.2 34.2 35.1
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