Manufacturing in Texas stagnated in April as a key index of factory activity fell from a positive 9.9 in March to a negative 0.5 in April, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey of business executives.
Positive readings in the survey of Texas manufacturing, which accounts for more than 9 percent of total U.S. manufactured goods, behind only California, generally indicate expansion of factory activity; readings below zero generally indicate contraction.
"Ebbing growth in manufacturing activity was reflected in other survey measures as well," the Dallas Fed said. "The capacity utilization index came in at 2.7, down from 5.5, and the shipments index fell to zero after rising to 10.6 in March. The new orders index fell nearly 14 points to -4.9, posting its first negative reading this year."
In March, Texas factory activity increased. The Fed said its production index rose from 6.2 to an 9.9, indicating a slightly faster pace of output growth. The share of manufacturers noting a decrease in production fell to its lowest level in two years.
But other survey measures also suggested a pickup in manufacturing activity, with the new orders and shipments indexes moving up strongly in March.
Perceptions of broader business conditions improved in March. The general business activity index rose from 2.2 to 7.4, reaching its highest level in a year.
The production index -- a key measure of state manufacturing conditions -- rose from 6.2 to 9.9, indicating a slightly faster pace of output growth. The share of manufacturers noting a decrease in production fell to its lowest level in two years.