Some so-so from the Lone Star State, where the Dallas Fed manufacturing report beat expectations (but fell), and the employment subindex hit its highest level in a year.
Texas factory activity increased but at a slower pace in August, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, remained positive but fell from 11.4 to 7.3.
Other measures of current manufacturing activity also indicated slower growth in August. The new orders index was positive for the fourth month in a row, although it moved down from 10.8 to 5.4. The shipments index also posted a fourth consecutive positive reading but slipped 6 points to 11.4. The capacity utilization index fell from 12.2 to 4.6.
Perceptions of broader business conditions improved again in August, with the general business activity and company outlook indexes posting their third consecutive positive readings. The general business activity index edged up from 4.4 to 5.0, and the company outlook index rose from 4.5 to 7.3.
Labour market indicators reflected an increase in hiring but sharply reduced workweeks. The employment index rose 2 points to 11.2, its highest reading in a year. 20 per cent of firms reported hiring new workers compared with 8 per cent reporting layoffs. The hours worked index fell 11 points to -9.9, its lowest reading in nearly four years.
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