FRB Dallas Home » Research & Data » Texas Business Outlook Surveys » Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey
 
 

Research & Data

Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey


  • Current Report
  • Results Table
  • Production Chart
  • Comments
  • Historical Data
Report in PDF
July 25, 2011

Texas Manufacturing Activity Picks Up

Texas factory activity expanded in July, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 5.6 to 10.8, suggesting output growth picked up this month.

Other measures of current manufacturing conditions also indicated growing activity, and the pace of new orders increased. The shipments index rose to a reading of 7.8 after coming in at zero last month. The capacity utilization index was positive but remained near zero, indicating little change over the prior month. The new orders index rose sharply from 6.4 in June to 16 in July. Thirty-four percent of firms said order volumes increased this month, the highest share since November 2010.

Indexes reflecting general business conditions improved in July. The general business activity index remained negative for the third month in a row but jumped from –17.5 to –2, suggesting only a slight worsening this month. The company outlook index rose from 7.2 in June to 11 in July, indicating manufacturers were more optimistic about their firms’ prospects for the near future. Ninety percent of respondents said their outlooks were unchanged or improved from last month.

Labor market indicators reflected more hiring and longer workweeks. The employment index came in at 12.1, up from 5.3 in June. Twenty-two percent of manufacturers reported hiring new workers, the highest share this year. The hours worked index rose from 1.5 to 7.9.

Prices and wages increased again in July. The raw materials price index rose slightly after trending down in recent months, edging up from 31.1 to 34.3. The finished goods price index fell from 10 in June to 4.6 in July, suggesting selling prices rose but at a slower pace than last month. More than 50 percent of respondents anticipate further increases in raw materials prices over the next six months, while 27 percent expect higher finished goods prices. The wages and benefits index moved up from 15.5 in June to 18.4 in July, although the great majority of respondents noted no change in labor costs.

Expectations regarding future business conditions were generally more optimistic in July. The indexes of future general business activity and future company outlook edged up this month after trending down in the first half of the year. Several indexes of future manufacturing activity, including production, rose in July while others edged down but remained in solid positive territory.

The Dallas Fed conducts the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey monthly to obtain a timely assessment of the state’s factory activity. Data were collected July 12–20, and 87 Texas manufacturers responded to the survey. Firms are asked whether output, employment, orders, prices and other indicators increased, decreased or remained unchanged over the previous month.

Survey responses are used to calculate an index for each indicator. Each index is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents reporting a decrease from the percentage reporting an increase. When the share of firms reporting an increase exceeds the share reporting a decrease, the index will be greater than zero, suggesting the indicator has increased over the prior month. If the share of firms reporting a decrease exceeds the share reporting an increase, the index will be below zero, suggesting the indicator has decreased over the prior month. An index will be zero when the number of firms reporting an increase is equal to the number of firms reporting a decrease.

Next release: August 29, 2011

July 25, 2011
 

Click on links in the table for greater details. Historical data are available from June 2004 to the most current release month.

Business Indicators Relating to Facilities and Products in Texas
Current (versus previous month)
Indicator Jul
Index
Jun
Index
Change Indicator
Direction*
Trend**
(months)
%
Reporting
Increase
%
Reporting
No Change
%
Reporting
Decrease
Production
10.8
5.6
+5.2
Increasing
21
26.9
57.0
16.1
Capacity Utilization
0.6
-0.8
+1.4
Increasing
1
20.0
60.6
19.4
New Orders
16.0
6.4
+9.6
Increasing
9
34.2
47.6
18.2
Growth Rate of Orders
2.5
2.3
+0.2
Increasing
2
23.5
55.5
21.0
Unfilled Orders
8.2
-6.2
+14.4
Increasing
1
19.4
69.4
11.2
Shipments
7.8
0.4
+7.4
Increasing
9
27.1
53.6
19.3
Delivery Time
3.5
1.2
+2.3
Increasing
2
11.5
80.5
8.0
Materials Inventories
5.4
6.5
-1.1
Increasing
2
23.4
58.6
18.0
Finished Goods Inventories
0.0
0.0
0.0
Unchanged
2
14.0
72.1
14.0
Prices Paid for Raw Materials
34.3
31.1
+3.2
Increasing
24
40.5
53.3
6.2
Prices Received for Finished Goods
4.6
10.0
-5.4
Increasing
9
10.1
84.4
5.5
Wages and Benefits
18.4
15.5
+2.9
Increasing
20
19.5
79.3
1.1
Employment
12.1
5.3
+6.8
Increasing
9
22.1
67.9
10.0
Hours Worked
7.9
1.5
+6.4
Increasing
3
19.9
68.1
12.0
Capital Expenditures
-2.3
2.4
-4.7
Decreasing
1
10.3
77.0
12.6
General Business Conditions
Current (versus previous month)
Indicator Jul
Index
Jun
Index
Change Indicator
Direction*
Trend**
(months)
%
Reporting
Improved
%
Reporting
No Change
%
Reporting
Worsened
11.0
7.2
+3.8
Improving
10
20.8
69.4
9.8
-2.0
-17.5
+15.5
Worsening
3
15.1
67.8
17.1
Business Indicators Relating to Facilities and Products in Texas
Future (six months ahead)
Indicator Jul
Index
Jun
Index
Change Indicator
Direction*
Trend**
(months)
%
Reporting
Increase
%
Reporting
No Change
%
Reporting
Decrease
Production
38.8
37.1
+1.7
Increasing
29
46.3
46.3
7.5
Capacity Utilization
30.5
27.4
+3.1
Increasing
29
40.6
49.3
10.1
New Orders
28.5
28.0
+0.5
Increasing
29
37.7
53.1
9.2
Growth Rate of Orders
22.6
22.1
+0.5
Increasing
29
31.9
58.8
9.3
Unfilled Orders
1.2
-7.3
+8.5
Increasing
1
14.0
73.3
12.8
Shipments
31.7
35.1
-3.4
Increasing
29
40.6
50.5
8.9
Delivery Time
-8.2
-6.1
-2.1
Decreasing
2
5.8
80.2
14.0
Materials Inventories
-2.3
3.6
-5.9
Decreasing
1
14.0
69.8
16.3
Finished Goods Inventories
-3.5
2.4
-5.9
Decreasing
1
11.8
72.9
15.3
Prices Paid for Raw Materials
47.6
45.1
+2.5
Increasing
28
52.3
43.0
4.7
Prices Received for Finished Goods
20.9
22.2
-1.3
Increasing
12
26.7
67.4
5.8
Wages and Benefits
29.1
33.5
-4.4
Increasing
86
32.5
64.1
3.4
Employment
2.3
14.5
-12.2
Increasing
23
20.9
60.5
18.6
Hours Worked
2.3
7.3
-5.0
Increasing
29
15.1
72.1
12.8
Capital Expenditures
10.6
21.7
-11.1
Increasing
20
23.5
63.5
12.9
General Business Conditions
Future (six months ahead)
Indicator Jul
Index
Jun
Index
Change Indicator
Direction*
Trend**
(months)
%
Reporting
Improved
%
Reporting
No Change
%
Reporting
Worsened
15.9
15.6
+0.3
Improving
26
28.2
59.5
12.3
3.7
2.9
+0.8
Improving
11
23.6
56.5
19.9

*Indicator direction refers to this month's index. If index is positive (negative), indicator is increasing (decreasing) or improving (worsening). If zero, indicator is unchanged.
**Number of months moving in current direction.
Data have been seasonally adjusted as necessary.

July 25, 2011

Current and future production

Downloadable chart: Low-res (72 dpi) | Hi-res (300 dpi)

July 25, 2011

Comments from Survey Respondents

These comments were selected from respondents' completed surveys and have been edited for publication.

Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
The Architecture Billings Index for nonresidential construction has been negative for three months after six consecutive months of growth. Uncertainty about the economy and a lack of regional bank financing for new commercial and industrial projects is holding back the recovery.

There is more uncertainty related to our bank renewals. We are still seeing customers reluctant to commit to start projects that have been designed and approved. A large job we have been told we are receiving has been divided up into smaller releases because the plant owner does not want to release a larger purchasing order at one time.

Machinery Manufacturing
Business is sluggish. People are waiting to see what happens with budget, economy and this fall.

Chemical Manufacturing
Our business is somewhat seasonal, and our volume is off around 2–4 percent from a year ago. From early 2010 to now the industry we serve has been flat. We have some large contracts dealing with Canadian oil sands that will start at the end of the year, so we expect higher volumes next year.

Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing
The weight of continued slow retail home furnishings sales is taking its toll on dealers, and they have closed up buying.

Food Manufacturing
We are still very negatively impacted by high commodity prices.

Historical Data

Historical data can be downloaded dating back to June 2004.

Indexes

Download indexes for all indicators. For the definitions of all variables, see Data Definitions.

Unadjusted excel
Seasonally adjusted excel

All Data

Download indexes and components of the indexes (percentage of respondents reporting increase, decrease, or no change). For the definitions of all variables, see Data Definitions.

Unadjusted excel
Seasonally adjusted excel

Questions regarding the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey can be addressed to Emily Kerr at emily.kerr@dal.frb.org.

Sign up for our free e-mail alert to be automatically notified as soon as the latest Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey is released on the web.

 

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Seal
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

2200 N. Pearl St., Dallas, Texas 75201 | 214.922.6000 or 800.333.4460
Disclaimer / Privacy Policy

Federal Reserve Centennial