Stock Market

Manufacturing Growth in May Slows in Texas as General Business Activity Index Drops, Dallas Fed Says

Manufacturing in Texas expanded at a lower pace in May as the perception of business conditions showed some weakness in the month, according to executives polled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The bank said Tuesday that the demand indicators fell in May but remained in positive territory. Its new-order index lost about seven percentage points from April to 2.4 this month while the growth of orders index slipped more than four points to 1.1. The capacity utilization index fell nearly eight points to 7.7. The shipments index rose 1.3 points to 7.6.

The executives’ view of broader business conditions weakened as the general business activity index dropped to minus 5.3 in May from 2 last month. Capital IQ’s consensus was for a reading of 6.

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The bank said labor-market results indicated stronger employment growth in May, as well as workweeks. The employment index rose seven points to 11.6 this month while 21% reported net hiring as 9% reported net layoffs. The hours worked index fell 1.7 points to 6.4.

Input costs were pressured in May, the Fed said, as the raw materials prices index slipped half a percentage point to a three-year low of 7.4. Finished goods prices dropped to 0.7 from 6. The wages and benefits index dipped to 27.6 from 28.2 previously.

The Fed said expectations for future business conditions remained positive this month but slipped from last month. The future general business activity lost nine points to 9.1 while the future company outlook index also fell nine points to 11.5.

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