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Texas Manufacturing Slump Moderates, Outlooks Improve

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (07/27/2015)

Texas factory activity declined slightly in July, according to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index remained negative but rose for a second consecutive month to -1.9, suggesting further moderation in the decline in manufacturing output. The capacity utilization index edged up to -4.2, suggesting contraction, but the upward movement again this month indicates that the pace of decline continued to slow. The new orders index rebounded strongly in July and posted a reading of 0.7 after six months in negative territory.

Labor market indicators reflected slight employment declines and shorter workweeks. The July employment index was negative for a third consecutive month and edged down to -3.3. Eleven percent of firms reported net hiring, compared with 15% reporting net layoffs. The hours worked index rose from -10.7 to -6.3.