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Texas Fed Manufacturing Activity Increased Again in November
Texas factory activity increased again in November, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, posted a fifth consecutive positive reading and edged up to 8.8.
Other measures of current manufacturing activity showed mixed movements. The new orders and growth rate of orders indexes posted their third consecutive negative readings in November but moved up, coming in at -1.4 and -0.8, respectively. The capacity utilization index rose three points to 3.6, while the shipments index dipped slightly negative to -1.9.
Perceptions of broader business conditions improved markedly this month. The general business activity index shot up to 10.2 after nearly two years of negative readings. The company outlook index also posted a large gain, increasing nine points to a reading of 11.0.
Labor market measures indicated increased employment levels and longer workweeks. The employment index came in at 4.5 after a near-zero reading last month. Seventeen percent of firms noted net hiring, compared with 13 percent noting net layoffs. The hours worked index returned to positive territory in November, coming in at 2.5.
Prices and wages rose this month. Input cost increases accelerated slightly, with the raw materials prices index rising from 13.7 to 18.2. The finished goods prices index posted a second positive reading, climbing from 1.2 to 8.0, and indicates a likely end to the period of deflation in manufactured goods prices that began in 2015. Wages and benefits continued to rise, with the index edging up to 18.4.
Expectations regarding future business conditions improved notably in November. The index of future general business activity advanced 27 points to 31.6. The index of future company outlook also jumped up more than 20 points, coming in at 34.9. Other indexes for future manufacturing activity pushed markedly higher in to positive territory.
Posted: November 28, 2016 Monday 10:30 AM