Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey hits 6 Year Low

The most recent results from the Dallas Fed’s Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey ran across my Twitter feed and it got my attention.  The first thing I noticed was that their chart began around the middle of 2008.

Dallas Fed: U.S. Manufacturing Outlook Survey

Dallas Fed: U.S. Manufacturing Outlook Survey

I always like to have a little more context, so I pulled the available data from their site, which goes back to June 2004.  There are a few things that get my attention here.

Dallas Fed: U.S. Manufacturing Outlook Survey

Dallas Fed: U.S. Manufacturing Outlook Survey

The first is that Texas makes up for approximately 9% of U.S. output and ranks only 2nd behind California in terms of share of U.S. GDP.  A multi year low in the second most productive state in the nation is not something I would discount.  It begs to be further looked into at a minimum.  Below is a chart with data from BEA data showing the Top 10 States in terms of share of U.S. GDP from 2000 to 2013.

GDP Top 10 States

The dramatic fall in oil prices is sure to be a factor, but the Texas economy is rather robust and well diversified.  If you look at Texas’s share of U.S. GDP over the last several years, you will find that it has been fairly stable – regardless of oil prices, and it continues to grow.

The second thing that gets my attention is that since late 2009, the survey has trended in a stable range, averaging roughly 10% (Note: no math here, I am just eying it).  The last two quarters have not been kind and the question remains, are we reaching an inflection point?

I find it interesting to see this data roughly correspond (again eying it) with the JOLTS Survey data.

Bureau of Labor Statistics: JOLTS Data (Monthly)

Bureau of Labor Statistics: JOLTS Data (Monthly)

About Jose Velez

I received my degree in economics and finance from the University of Texas at Dallas School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences in 2006. Since then I have worked within the energy industry focusing on regulatory and environmental issues.
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