By Maria Martinez
Texas manufacturing activity fell in November for the seventh consecutive month, adding to evidence of a slowdown in the factory sector, data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas showed Monday.
The index for general business activity of the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey, which assesses business conditions of the state’s factory sector, rose to minus 14.4 in November from minus 19.4 in October. Despite the improvement, the index points to declining factory activity over the month as the reading came in below the no-change threshold of zero.
The production index–a key measure of state manufacturing conditions–decreased to 0.8 from 6.0 the previous month, signaling little change in output from October.
The new orders index fell to minus 20.9 in November, its sixth consecutive negative reading, suggesting demand continued to weaken. The growth rate of orders index fell to minus 19.9, also signaling declining orders.
The employment index fell to 5.9, pointing to slower employment growth. The hours worked index remained near zero, suggesting no change, the Dallas Fed said.
“Supply-chain disruptions and delayed project schedules are negatively impacting our output and utilization,” said one respondent from the fabricated metal product manufacturing sector. The delivery times index fell to minus 2.8 and the unfilled orders index fell to minus 4.6.
Inflation pressures eased, the report showed. The raw materials prices index fell to 22.6, and the finished goods prices index fell to 13.9.
Manufacturing firms in Texas had mixed opinion about their short-term outlook. The future production index remained positive, rising to 8.9. However, the future general business activity index remained negative, though it ticked up to minus 17.5. Most other measures of future manufacturing activity were positive and saw increases in index values this month, the Dallas Fed said.
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