NEW YORK - Texas factory activity, as measured by the production index, "surged" in June, according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, released Monday.

The general business activity index reversed to positive 5.8 in June from negative 5.1 in May.

The production index jumped to 15.5 from 5.5, while capacity use increased to 13.3 from 5.0, the Fed reported. Volume of new orders improved to positive 7.9 from negative 0.6, while growth rate of orders index increased to positive 1.6 from negative 3.7.

Unfilled orders rose to positive 7.8 from negative 4.0 in the prior survey, while the volume of shipments increased to positive 9.6 from negative 0.2, and delivery times climbed to positive 5.5 from positive 4.7. The materials inventory index dropped to 1.1 from 7.2, the finished goods inventory slipped to negative 7.7 from negative 2.4. Prices paid for raw materials dropped to 2.7 from 20.2, while prices received for finished goods fell to negative 5.8 from negative 0.5. Wages and benefits slid to 13.2 from 20.0, while the employment index rose to 13.7 from 8.5, and the hours worked index gained to positive 1.0 from negative 2.2, and the capital expenditures index increased to 8.1 from 6.9.

As for future outlook (six months from now), the general business conditions index slid to 1.3 from 4.3 last month, the production index increased to 33.0 from 31.6, while capacity use climbed to 30.1 from 29.1, the Fed reported. Volume of new orders gained to 27.8 from 22.8, while growth rate of orders index increased to 14.6 from 13.7.

Unfilled orders sank to negative 5.6 from positive 4.8, while the volume of shipments gained to 33.6 from 27.2, and delivery times dropped to negative 9.1 from negative 3.6. Materials inventories reversed to positive 6.8 from negative 5.9, and the finished goods inventory improved to negative 1.1 from negative 7.2.

Prices paid for raw materials decreased to 15.9 from 35.7, while prices received for finished goods slumped to negative 4.5 from positive 16.6. Wages and benefits slid to 27.3 from 34.4, the employment index slipped to 14.6 from 15.4, while the hours worked index fell to 1.0 from 2.6, and the capital expenditures index dropped to 13.6 from 18.1.

The Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey is a monthly anecdotal survey of manufacturers in Texas. Roughly 80 manufacturers regularly participate in the Dallas Fed survey, which began collecting data in May 2004.

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