According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the Market is looking up in Texas.
Texas factory activity increased sharply in June, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose six points to 17.1, posting its highest reading in more than two years.
Notably stronger manufacturing activity was reflected in other survey measures as well. The new orders index climbed to 13 in June, a level not seen since July 2011. The capacity utilization index rose to a two-year high, jumping from 6.4 to 15.3. The shipments index advanced 12 points to 15.4.
Perceptions of broader business conditions rebounded strongly in June. The general business activity index rose to 6.5 after posting negative readings in April and May. The company outlook index soared 20 points to 13.3, reaching its highest level in 16 months.
Labor market indicators reflected steady labor demand and longer workweeks. The employment index was zero in June, suggesting no change in employment levels. The hours worked index moved up to 4.8 after four months in negative territory.
Price movements were mixed in June; input prices and wages rose while selling prices declined. The raw materials priceindex increased again this month, rising from 6.4 to 14.3. The wages and benefits index also strengthened, from 14 to 20, although the great majority of manufacturers continued to note no change in compensation costs. The finished goods priceindex remained negative for the third month in a row but moved up from -8.3 to -2.1. Looking ahead, 33 percent of respondents anticipate further increases in raw materials prices over the next six months, while 25 percent expect higher finished goods prices.
Expectations regarding future business conditions improved significantly in June. The index of future general business activity surged to 14.7 after negative readings in April and May. The index of future company outlook rose sharply as well, coming in at 21.8. Indexes for future manufacturing activity also moved up.
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