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Economy in Brief

Dallas Fed Factory Sector Activity and Outlook Deteriorate
by Tom Moeller  August 25, 2014

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported that its August Composite index covering Texas factory sector activity declined to 7.1 from 12.7 in July. The latest figure was the lowest since March. The deterioration reflected lower new orders, shipments and production. The length of the employee workweek also shortened but the employment level held fairly steady. Prices paid for finished goods improved to the highest level in six months as did wages & benefits.

The Dallas Fed also surveys expectations for factory sector conditions in six months. The business activity figure slipped m/m and remained in the sideways trend of the last nine months. Moving lower were the indexes covering the expected new orders growth rate and wages & benefits. Unfilled orders expectations also deteriorated but the expected shipments volume rose to the highest level since January.

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.

Dallas Federal Reserve Manufacturing Outlook Survey (SA) Aug Jul Jun Aug '13 2013 2012 2011
General Business Activity Versus One Month Ago (% Balance) 7.1 12.7 11.4 5.3 2.2 -0.5 -0.5
   New Orders Volume 2.2 13.0 6.5 7.2 7.2 1.4 5.7
   Wages & Benefits 23.7 18.8 18.8 14.4 16.6 16.7 14.5
   Prices Received for Finished Product 9.1 7.3 7.4 4.7 2.9 0.9 9.2
   Employment 11.1 11.4 13.1 11.5 5.6 11.8 8.9
General Business Activity Six Months Ahead 18.7 19.8 18.7 15.9 11.0 7.6 10.0
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