Even if the main purpouse of a configure script created by autoconf isn't to produce output (it certainly does, and a lot!), it is perfectly possible to do so.
Create the following minimalistic configure.ac in an empty directory:
# Minimalistic configure.ac script: "Hello, world!"
# Required first macro by *any* configure.ac script: AC_INIT
AC_INIT(my_package, 0.0.1, [email protected])
# Our message to the world.
# Required last macro by *any* configure.ac script: AC_OUTPUT
# The AC_OUTPUT macro is commented out only to avoid the message:
# "configure: creating ./config.status"
# You should normally *always* include AC_OUTPUT as the last macro in configure.ac.