Texas factory activity declined again in May, though at a slower pace than in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, remained negative but improved from -55.6 to -28.0, suggesting the contraction in output has eased somewhat since last month. Perceptions of broader business conditions remained negative but were somewhat less pessimistic in May.
Other measures of manufacturing activity pointed to a less-severe decline in May. The new orders index advanced 38 points to -30.6, its highest reading in three months, with more than 20 percent of manufacturers noting an increase in orders. Similarly, the growth rate of orders index pushed up more than 30 points to -30.8. The capacity utilization and shipments indexes also remained negative at -26.0 and -25.7, respectively, but were up from March and April.