HOUSTON, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Factory activity in the U.S. state of Texas expanded at a markedly faster pace in February, according to a survey released on Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Dallas Fed's latest Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey showed that the production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, surged 15 points to 19.9, indicating a sharp acceleration in output growth.
According to business executives responding to the survey, other measures of manufacturing activity also point to more rapid growth this month. The indexes of new orders, the growth rate of orders, capacity utilization and shipment all increased in February.
Perceptions of broader business continued to improve in February. The general business activity index shot up while the company outlook index held steady this month. Uncertainty regarding companies' outlooks continued to rise, though the index retreated notably.
The survey also found that labor market measures indicated robust but slightly slower growth in employment and work hours. The employment index was down from last week, but still indicative of increased head counts. The hours worked index inched down. Price pressures rose while wage pressures held mostly steady in February.
Expectations regarding future activity remained positive in February, though some key indexes weakened slightly from their January readings.
Data of this month's survey were collected between Feb. 9 and Feb. 17, and 96 Texas manufacturers responded to the survey. The Dallas Fed conducts the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey monthly to obtain a timely assessment of the state's factory activity.