Dallas Fed Manufacturing Growth Declines in November

The Dallas Fed released its Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey (TMOS) for November. The latest general business activity index came in at -14.4, down 5 from last month. All figures are seasonally adjusted.

Here is an excerpt from the latest report:

Growth in Texas factory activity abated in November, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell five points to near zero, suggesting little change in output from October.

Perceptions of broader business conditions continued to worsen in November. The general business activity index posted a seventh consecutive negative reading but moved up five points to -14.4. The company outlook index pushed down further, from -9.1 to -15.2. The outlook uncertainty index retreated 18 points to 20.4, still slightly elevated relative to its average reading of 16.6.

Expectations regarding future manufacturing activity were mixed in November. The future production index remained positive, pushing up six points to 8.9. The future general business activity index remained negative, though it ticked up to -17.5. Most other measures of future manufacturing activity were positive and saw increases in index values this month.

Monthly data for this indicator only dates back to 2004, so it is difficult to see the full potential of this indicator without several business cycles of data. Nevertheless, it is an interesting and important regional manufacturing indicator. The Dallas Fed on the TMOS importance:

Texas is important to the nation’s manufacturing output. The state produced $159 billion in manufactured goods in 2008, roughly 9.5 percent of the country’s manufacturing output. Texas ranks second behind California in factory production and first as an exporter of manufactured goods.

Texas turns out a large share of the country’s production of petroleum and coal products, reflecting the significance of the region’s refining industry. Texas also produces over 10 percent of the nation’s computer and electronics products and nonmetallic mineral products, such as brick, glass and cement.