The Dallas Federal Reserve’s business-activity index fell to -18.3 in June, more than expected.
Economists had forecast that the general business activity index improved to -15 from -20.8 in June, according to Bloomberg.
The production index, an important gauge of manufacturing conditions, improved from the prior month, although it was still negative. It rose to -7 from -13.
The gauge of employment tanked to its lowest level since 2009.
The headline activity index has not turned positive since December 2014. Last month, it indicated a renewed slowdown in Texas manufacturing after some improvement in April.
Several survey respondents told the Dallas Fed they felt business was slowing down, even as they entered the summer months.
“June has become stupid slow for us, and we are not sure why,” said someone in the printing industry. Another person noted that the slump in their business is seasonal, not a reflection of economic conditions.
The highlight of last month’s commentary was on how millennials texting and using social media at work was harming productivity. In the latest report, a respondent said the Affordable Care Act was limiting hiring because the business could not afford the estimated 60% increase in health care premiums.