Texas factory activity expanded at a markedly faster pace in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, surged 28 points to 48.0, its highest reading in the survey’s 17-year history. Perceptions of broader business conditions improved markedly in March.
Other measures of manufacturing activity also pointed to sharply faster growth this month. The new orders index rose 18 points to 30.5, and the growth rate of orders index rose 11 points to 22.7. The capacity utilization index rocketed from 16.5 to 46.1, an all-time high. The shipments index rose 17 points to 33.1.