Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (12/28/2015)
Texas factory activity increased for a third month in a row in December, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The production index rose from 5.2 to 13.4, indicating stronger growth in output. The capacity utilization and shipments indexes posted their fourth positive readings in a row and inched up to 7.8 and 7.6, respectively. However, the survey’s demand measures showed continued weakness. New orders, an indicator of incoming demand, declined at a faster pace. The index has been below zero for five months and fell to -8.9 in December. The growth rate of orders index has been negative for more than a year and dipped seven points to -14.3 this month.
Labor market indicators reflected a notable rise in December. The employment index inched up further to 12.8; 26% of firms noted net hiring, while 14% noted net layoffs. The hours worked index suggested longer workweeks and rose to 15.2, its highest level since May 2010.