Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (08/31/2015)
Texas factory activity was essentially flat in August, according to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index climbed to near zero (-0.8), suggesting output held steady after five months of declines. Other measures of current manufacturing activity showed mixed movements in August. The capacity utilization index, like the production index, rose to zero after several months in negative territory. The shipments index also edged up, coming in at -3. The new orders index plunged 13 points to -12.5 after rebounding to positive territory last month, and the growth rate of orders index fell from -5.2 to -14.
Labor market indicators reflected slight employment declines and stable workweek length. The August employment index was negative for a fourth month in a row but edged up to -1.4. Fifteen percent of firms reported net hiring, compared with 16% reporting net layoffs. The hours worked index rose from -6.3 to 0.6, with the near-zero reading suggesting no change in workweek length from July.