Texas manufacturing sector sees slow growth

TEXAS – Texas factory activity expanded for the fifth month in a row in October, rebounding from record lows during spring shutdowns to stem the spread of COVID-19, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

“The Texas manufacturing recovery continued to gain momentum in October,” said Emily Kerr, Dallas Fed senior business economist. “Though uncertainty persists, business sentiment pushed higher.”

The Dallas Fed’s production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose 3% to 25.5%, following a nine-point jump in September to 22.3%. The index hit a record low of minus 55.6% in April.

The production index, as well as other index that track other manufacturing indicators, is based on a survey of manufacturing executives in Texas conducted by the Dallas Fed.

Other measures of manufacturing activity also point to stronger growth this month. The new orders index jumped five points to 19.9%, while the shipments index was essentially flat at 21.9%. The capacity utilization index, which measures how much of plants and equipment are in use for production, rose 5.5% points to 23%.

Perceptions of broader business conditions also improved. The general business activity index rose from 13.6% to 19.8%, a two-year high.

The company outlook index, which measures the sentiment about the future of their business, moved up three points to 17.8%, also a two-year high. The uncertainty indicator, however, also continued to rise, moving up four points to 11.0%.

Source: Houston Chronicle