Growth picks up for Texas service sector


Texas saw its service sector activity expand again in November and at a faster pace than a month earlier, according to a report Tuesday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey’s revenue index — a key measure of the state’s service sector conditions — rose from a reading of 9.9 in October to 13.7 in November. Positive readings in the survey generally indicate expansion of service sector activity, while readings below zero generally indicate contraction, the Dallas Fed says.

The Texas service sector represents about 70 percent of the state’s economy and employs about 8.2 million workers, according to the Dallas Fed.

Several respondents in the survey pointed to the presidential election results as hope for new stabilization, as they noted the level of business activity might have slowed as a result of the uncertainty ahead of the vote.

The survey found that overall perceptions of broad economic conditions reflected more optimism this month as the general business activity index rose from a reading of 3.0 in October to 12.6 this month. The company outlook index rose from near zero to 15.6.

Survey respondents’ future outlook, looking six months ahead, also reflected more optimism, the survey found.

The report’s index of future general business activity rose from 20 to 29.1, while the index of future company outlook rose from 12.2 to 32.6.

“Indexes of future service sector activity, such as future revenue and employment, continued to reflect optimism this month,” the Dallas Fed said.

However, some survey respondents said they were unsure what the long-term impact of the presidential election could be.

“I think many Americans and Texans are feeling uneasy about the surprising results of the election and as a result are feeling skittish about spending as they fear jobs cuts are coming,” the respondent told the Dallas Fed. “It is hard to predict how the new administration will positively or negatively impact job growth.”

In addition to the positive signs from the November report, the survey’s labor market indicators reflected faster employment growth while showing relatively stable workweeks this month, the Dallas Fed survey said.

The survey’s employment index rose from a reading of 2.7 in October to 9.2 in November.

Meanwhile, the hours worked index increased from a reading of -1.4 last month to a reading near zero.

The Texas Retail Outlook Survey, which compiles responses from the retail and wholesale sectors, also found that retail sales grew in November. The sales index rose from -6.6 last month to 13.2 this month.

“Retailers’ perceptions of broader economic conditions improved markedly in November,” the report said.

Retailers’ perceptions of broader economic conditions also improved in November, as the general business activity index rose from -5.1 in October to 10.1 this month, the Dallas Fed said. Meanwhile, the company outlook index rose 19 points to 13.5.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

10 years in, state’s cancer fund faces an uncertain future
10 years in, state’s cancer fund faces an uncertain future

As it nears the 10th anniversary of its creation by Texas voters, a variety of metrics can be used to gauge the impact of the state agency charged with fighting cancer. For instance, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas — commonly known as CPRIT — has recruited 135 researchers to the state, helped put in motion 108 clinical...
Up the Ladder

EDUCATION The Texas Charter Schools Association has named Chuck Cook interim executive director. FOOD SERVICE INDUSTRY Amplify Snack Brands has named Greg Christenson executive vice president and chief financial officer and has named Craig Shiesley chief operating officer and president, North America. HEALTH CARE St. David’s HealthCare has named...
UT-born Tiff’s Treats ventures into Aggieland
UT-born Tiff’s Treats ventures into Aggieland

Tiff’s Treats certainly has a recipe for success. The Austin-based company that specializes in deliveries of hot cookies continues to grow, most recently adding a Tiff’s Treats in the heart of Aggieland. The College Station Tiff’s Treats is in the Century Square mixed-use project near the Texas A&M campus, where it joins another Austin...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

HOUSING MARKET Austin-area home sales up only slightly in August: Central Texas home sales edged up only slightly in August, while the median home-sale price rose 4 percent to $300,000, the Austin Board of Realtors said this past week. Some local real estate agents say the latest figures could indicate that, although demand is still strong, the local...
Texas weighs impact of latest GOP plan to repeal Obamacare
Texas weighs impact of latest GOP plan to repeal Obamacare

The latest iteration of Republican efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act appears at first blush to be a potential boon to Texas by making it eligible for an estimated $34 billion in additional federal health care funds through 2026 if the plan wins approval — more than any other state. But some health care advocates say they are skeptical...
More Stories