Texas business activity remained optimistic in October, but less so than in September, according to a Dallas Federal Reserve Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey released today.
The monthly survey asks 100 Texas manufacturers to rate their views on current and future business activity. Market watchers keep a close eye on this index, as Texas' manufacturing can serve as an important indicator of national economic health. A positive number indicates month-over-month growth, while a negative number means contraction.
After clocking in at 12.8 in September, this month's report puts business activity at 3.6. Although analysts had predicted a slowdown, their expectations for a 9.0 reading proved overly optimistic.
While Texas manufacturers might not think much of their positions, the Texas Federal Reserve's production index tells otherwise. The index expanded 1.8 points to 13.3 for October, with the all-important new orders index clocking in at 6.2 for the sixth straight monthly increase.
Although the employment index remained largely unchanged at 9.6, 17% of firms reported hiring new workers, while just 7% reported layoffs.