By Ed Frankl

Texas factory activity weakened a little in May, amid continuing uncertainty about the outlook for the sector.

The Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey fell to minus 19.4 in May from minus 14.5 in April, weaker than expectations of minus 15 from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas conducts the monthly survey, which asks Texas business executives about conditions in the industrial sector. A reading below zero indicates a contraction in industry.

The survey's production index slipped minus 2.8 in May from a positive reading of 4.8 last month, though the survey's index for new orders inched up a little on month, the data said. Elsewhere, capacity utilization and shipments indexes slipped back into negative territory, after positive turnouts last month.

Measures of employment suggested modest declines, with 9% of firms reporting net hiring, and 14% net layoffs, the Dallas Fed said.

Upward pressure on prices and wages continued in May, it added, with raw-materials prices especially accelerating compared with last month.

The weaker overall reading of activity comes despite a slight uptick in manufacturing activity in May, as measured by a purchasing managers survey last week.

Write to Ed Frankl at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-28-24 1101ET