Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (04/27/2015)
Texas factory activity declined in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index posted a second consecutive negative reading, coming in at -4.7. The new orders index edged up but remained negative at -14. The growth rate of orders index held steady at -15.5, posting its sixth consecutive negative reading. The capacity utilization index pushed further negative to -10.4, its lowest level since August 2009, and the shipments index edged up but stayed below zero at -5.6.
Labor market indicators reflected slight employment gains but shorter workweeks. The April employment index rebounded to 1.8 after dipping below zero in March. Nineteen percent of firms reported net hiring, compared with 17% reporting net layoffs. The hours worked index stayed at -5 in April, indicating a fourth consecutive month of slightly shorter workweeks.