Texas business activity expanded for April, according to a Dallas Federal Reserve Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey released today. 

After clocking in at 4.9 for March, this month's report puts business activity at a solid 11.7, nearly double analysts' expectations of a 6.0 reading. 

The monthly survey asks about 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. April marks the 12th straight month of activity increase for the Lonestar State .

While overall business continues to grow, the Reserve's production index points to even more optimism. The index boosted ahead 7.6 points to hit 24.7 for April, its highest reading in four years .

Source: Dallasfed.org 

Taking a closer look at the index's components, this month's gains are well distributed. New orders added on 6.6 points to reach 21.3, while wages increased 0.5 points to also register 21.3. Both employment and hours worked components increased to 19.7 and 13.9 points, respectively. While the shipments component dropped off 7.1 points, its 12.4 reading still signals significant month-to-month growth.