The Texas manufacturing sector gained traction in the second quarter, with output, employment, and hours worked all rising, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Driven by exports and a weaker US dollar, senior business economist Emily Kerr says some deceleration of manufacturing growth in Texas in June was met by a robust comeback in July.
New orders and the growth in orders both rose, and the company outlook level reached its highest level in this decade.
"Texas manufacturing continues to expand, and outlooks are more optimistic this month than they have been in over seven years," she said.
The strong picture for manufacturing comes despite headwinds in the energy sector. Drillers saw some pullback in June and July due to stubbornly low global oil prices.
"We have heard from some energy related manufacturers that the oil price volatility in recent months has hampered orders," she said.
Ray Chavez, who heads the San Antonio Manufacturers Association, says he sees the same strength in local factories.
He says manufacturers are looking for clear guildance from the Trump Administration in several key areas.
"Tax reform, health care and NAFTA," he said. "We feel that if Washington makes the right decision on those issues, we see manufacturing soaring to new heights that we haven't seen in a long time."
Texas is the number one exporting state in the nation by far, and would be in the top twenty of world manufacturers if Texas were an independent nation.
Texas manufacturers a wide variety of products, but its top areas include petroleum and petrochemicals, vehicles, computers and tech equipment, and fabricated metals.