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Economy in Brief

Dallas Fed Factory Sector Activity Improves
by Tom Moeller  June 29, 2015

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported that its June Composite index of factory sector activity improved to -7.0 during June, its least negative reading since January. The figure reflected modest improvement in production, employment, shipments, capacity utilization and wages & benefits. Raw materials pricing power jumped into positive territory, the firmest reading since November.

The business activity reading for six months ahead of 8.1 was its best number since December, but remained down from the April 2014 high of 25.3. Improvement in the future general business activity, employment and wages & benefits series led the way higher. There was slight deterioration in most of the other component series including shipments, production and the growth rate of new orders.

The diffusion indexes are calculated as the percentage of total respondents reporting increases minus the percentage reporting declines. Firms are asked whether output, employment, orders, prices and other indicators increased, decreased or remained unchanged over the previous month. The data can be found in Haver's SURVEYS database.

Dallas Federal Reserve Manufacturing Survey (SA, Percent Balance) Jun May Apr Jun '14 2014 2013 2012
General Business Activity Versus One Month Ago -7.0 -20.8 -16.0 11.9 8.3 2.2 -0.6
   Production -6.5 -13.5 -4.7 16.2 14.6 9.8 8.7
   Growth Rate of New Orders -16.5 -15.2 -15.5 2.7 4.7 0.1 -2.8
   Number of Employees -1.2 -8.2 1.8 13.7 11.5 5.6 11.8
   Prices Received for Finished Goods -1.9 -8.7 -7.7 8.0 8.3 2.9 0.9
Business Activity in Six Months 8.1 4.9 -5.9 19.3 17.4 11.0 7.6
   Production 35.2 38.6 28.2 44.3 42.7 37.1 32.4
   Future New Orders Growth Rate 21.1 27.3 19.6 31.3 31.5 25.0 19.5
   Number of Employees 16.9 14.1 12.4 29.8 28.6 23.1 19.1
   Wages & Benefits 31.0 30.6 34.2 45.3 43.0 38.2 34.2
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