Texas factory activity contracted slightly in November, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, dipped into negative territory for the first time since mid-2016, falling seven points to -2.4. Perceptions of broader business conditions worsened slightly in November. The general business activity index remained negative but moved up from -5.1 to -1.3.
Other measures of manufacturing activity were also negative in November, suggesting declines. The new orders index remained negative for a second month in a row, coming in at -3.0. The growth rate of orders index pushed further into negative territory, falling from -5.9 to -9.3. The capacity utilization and shipments indexes turned negative after three years in positive territory, falling to -5.3 and -4.5, respectively.