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Economy in Brief

Texas Factory Sector Deterioration Eases
by Tom Moeller  March 29, 2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas indicated that industrial activity in the state continued to deteriorate this month, but the rate of decline lessened. The measure of general business activity of -13.6 was the smallest negative reading since November. The figure gained m/m as production & shipments turned positive. Declines in new orders, employment and wages & benefits growth eased. The rate of decline in finished goods prices slowed.

Expectations for business activity in six months also improved. The expected business activity reading turned positive, although the expected readings for shipments and production deteriorated. On the labor front, expectations for employment deteriorated, but wages & benefits improved. Worker-hours backpedaled to a three year low.

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, % Balance) Mar Feb Jan Mar'15 2015 2014 2013
Current General Business Activity Index -13.6 -31.8 -34.6 -17.7 -12.5 8.3 2.2
   Production 3.3 -8.5 -10.2 -5.4 -1.0 14.5 9.8
   Growth Rate of Orders -11.7 -17.4 -17.5 -15.4 -11.8 4.7 0.1
   Number of Employees -10.3 -11.1 -4.2 -3.2 -0.4 11.5 5.6
   Prices Received for Finished Goods -8.2 -12.5 -9.6 -9.9 -8.5 8.3 2.9
General Business Activity Index Expected in Six Months 6.1 -2.1 -24.0 3.3 4.1 17.4 11.0
   Production 31.8 33.4 26.5 36.2 31.1 42.7 37.1
   Growth Rate of New Orders 17.4 18.7 16.8 12.9 20.7 31.5 25.0
   Wages & Benefits 34.7 34.5 28.5 34.2 33.2 43.1 38.2
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