By Michael S. Derby
Texas-area factories contracted at a faster pace in August.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported Monday that its general business activity index stumbled to -11.4 last month. The index had stood at -2 the month before, and at -17.5 in June. The August production index was 1.1, from 10.8.
August’s weakness wasn’t much of a surprise given how tepid overall growth has been over much of the year. That said, the contraction raises fear that the generally healthy manufacturing sector may be sputtering out as well. That could complicate the broader effort to grow more quickly.
In the report, the bank said that its new orders index moved to 4.8, from 16.0, while hiring growth slowed, with the employment index at 5.4, after July’s 12.1. Inflation pressures ebbed, with the prices paid index hitting 23.2, from 34.3, while the prices received index was -0.5, down from July’s 4.6.