The Texas manufacturing sector is showing strong growth in January following a sluggish end to 2019, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reports the 'production index,' which is the key measure of manufacturing activity, surged in January to 10.5. Figures below zero show manufacturing in a recessionary situaiton, and the higher the figure, the stronger the sector.
The New Orders Index, a measure of future manufacturing activity, also rose sharply. Late last year, the Index was in negative territory at -5, now it is up above 6.
But manufacturers are still not convinced that the good times are here to stay, due to tariffs and other pressures. 78% of Texas factories reported no change in their outlook. But an Index measuring uncertainty fell to a 20-month low, a good sign.
The positive numbers are not translating into job growth, with slower employment growth at factories. The employment index fell sharply, an indication of an abatement in hiring. 14 percent of factories reported layoffs in January, nearly as many as added jobs.