“Texas manufacturing continues to show signs of softness,” according to the monthly business activity survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and released yesterday.

The general business conditions index improved to negative 18.8 in August from negative 27.4 in July.

The production index remained zero in August, while capacity use dropped to 0.9 from 3.9, the Fed reported.

Prices paid for raw materials slid to 51.5 from 65.4, and prices received for finished goods dipped to 21.6 from 31.7. Wages and benefits dropped to 17.5 from 21.4, while the number of employees index reversed to negative 6.9 from positive 3.8, and the average workweek index declined to negative 6.9 from positive 1.0, and the capital expenditures index increased to negative 0.9 from negative 7.7.

As for outlook six months from now, the general business conditions index narrowed to negative 6.1 from negative 20.2 last month, the production index increased to 14.8 from 12.6, while capacity use fell to 10.8 from 14.5, the Fed reported.

Prices paid for raw materials fell to 45.1 from 64.7, and prices received for finished goods dropped to 37.6 from 57.8. Wages and benefits slipped to 35.3 from 47.6, the number of employees index gained to 2.9 from zero, the average workweek index slumped to negative 11.8 from negative 6.7, and the capital expenditures index improved to positive 3.9 from negative 1.0.

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