Texas factory activity increased in April, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell from 11.1 to 5.6, suggesting growth continued but at a slower pace than last month.
Other measures of current manufacturing conditions stagnated in April. The capacity utilization index came in at 1.4, down markedly from 12.3 in March, with one-quarter of respondents noting decreases. Shipment volumes were flat in April after increasing for the previous three months; the shipments index fell from 8.6 to -0.8. The new orders index posted a near-zero reading for the second consecutive month.
Perceptions of broader economic conditions worsened in April. The general business activity index turned negative after three months of positive readings, falling from 10.8 to -3.4. Thirteen percent of firms noted improvement in the level of business activity, while 16 percent noted a worsening. The company outlook index also fell into negative territory, slipping to -4.5 after a reading of 9.5 last month.
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