The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is out with regional economic data for the month of June. The Manufacturing Production Index rose to 17.1 in June from 11.2 in May. The Business Activity component rose to 6.5 in June from -10.5 in May. You know that the report is positive when its title is “Texas Manufacturing Activity Surges and Outlook Improves.”
Here is what matters: manufacturing was the highest reading in more than two years. The new orders index was the highest reading since July 2011. The capacity utilization index reached to a two-year high as it rose from 6.4 to 15.3, while the shipments index rose by 12 points to 15.4.
While employment was unchanged, it appears to still be solid compared to elsewhere. The Dallas Fed showed that labor market indicators reflected steady labor demand and longer workweeks. It said, “The employment index was zero in June, suggesting no change in employment levels. The hours worked index moved up to 4.8 after four months in negative territory.” The wages and benefits index rose to 20 from 14, although the great majority of manufacturers continued to note no change in compensation costs.
Broader business conditions rebounded strongly in June as the general business activity index rose to 6.5, after posting negative readings posted in both April and May. The company outlook index recovered by a sharp 20 points to 13.3 for its highest reading in 16 months.
The index of future general business activity surged, rising to 14.7 in June after negative readings in April and May. The index of future company outlook rose sharply to 21.8 as well.