The latest Dallas Fed manufacturing survey came in at -4.6, missing expectations.
Economists had estimated that the composite index climbed to -3.5 in July, after a print of -7 for June.
The gauge of manufacturing activity in the region includes a survey to assess business leaders’ outlook.
There was mention of a seasonal summer lull that one respondent found “very odd,” and others pointed to more specific factors that slowed down their businesses.
These included heavy rain in May, for a respondent in wood product manufacturing, which slowed down sales to single-family homebuilders.
In the wake of the oil crash, many respondents reported a hit to their businesses, directly or indirectly, and a respondent noted that the pain is still being felt.
Here’s the latest chart of the index, which has been on the decline this year but is gradually improving.