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Texas manufacturing continues expansion


Betty Dillard bdillard@bizpress.net

Texas manufacturing continues to expand, with demand rising at a slightly stronger pace in January than in December, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Texas factory activity increased for the ninth month in a row in January, according to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey released on Jan. 27. The production index, a key measure of manufacturing conditions, rose from 6 in December to 7.1 in January. Other measures of manufacturing activity also edged up. Demand for new orders jumped from 1.3 in December to 14.4 in January, reaching a seven-month high. The shipments index also rebounded strongly, surging from near zero to 9.2. Growth in capacity utilization held steady, with the index remaining at 8.2.

Labor market indicators reflected increased hiring and longer workweeks. The January employment index rose for the second month, to 8.6, while the hours worked edged to 3.4 after dipping to -1.1 in December. Expectations regarding future business conditions remained optimistic in January; however, some manufacturers remain worried about health care and the minimum wage. The Dallas Fed conducts the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey monthly. Data were collected Jan. 14-22.  

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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