Texas factory activity was little changed in November, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, came in at 1.7, indicating output barely increased from October.
Other survey measures suggested flat manufacturing activity in November. The new orders index came in at 0.4, suggesting that demand was unchanged from October. The capacity utilization index plunged more than ten points, coming in at -1.3, indicating utilization rates were little changed from last month. The shipments index edged down from 4.7 to 0.9, with more than half of the respondents noting no change from October.
Perceptions of broader business conditions worsened in November. The general business activity index fell to -2.8, returning to negative territory. The company outlook index moved down to -4.8, registering its first negative reading since April.
Labor market indicators were mixed. The employment index edged up to 6.7 in November, with more than 20 percent of firms reporting hiring compared with 15 percent reporting layoffs. The hours worked index dipped from -5.9 to -7.1.
Prices and wages increased in November. The raw materials price index declined from 35.6 to 30.2, indicating input costs continued to rise, but at a slower pace than in October. The finished goods price index increased from 4.2 to 9, suggesting stronger upward pressure on selling prices. The wages and benefits index increased from 11 to 15.1, although the great majority of manufacturers continued to note no change in compensation costs. Looking ahead, 43 percent of respondents anticipate further increases in raw materials prices over the next six months, while 35 percent expect higher finished goods prices.
Indexes reflecting future business conditions fell sharply in November. The index of future general business activity plunged from 16.8 to -5.3, its lowest reading in four months. The index of future company outlook dropped from 20.9 to 1.8. Indexes for future manufacturing activity also fell this month but remained positive.
Source: Dallas Fed
Summary of all Federal Reserve Districts Manufacturing:
Richmond Fed (hyperlink to reports):
Kansas Fed (hyperlink to reports):
Dallas Fed (hyperlink to reports):
Philly Fed (hyperlink to reports):
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New York Fed (hyperlink to reports):
Federal Reserve Industrial Production - Actual Data (hyperlink to report)
Holding this and other survey's Econintersect follows accountable for their predictions, the following graph compares the hard data from Industrial Products manufacturing subindex (dark blue bar) and US Census manufacturing shipments (lighter blue bar) to the Empire State Survey (green bar).
Comparing Surveys to Hard Data
In the above graphic, hard data is the long bars, and surveys are the short bars. The arrows on the left side are the key to growth or contraction.