Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index increased by 0.4 percent in November to 136.5. November’s index reading is 41 points, or 43 percent, above the index cyclical low of 95.5. The index averaged 128.5 points for all of 2017, 4.2 points above the average for 2016. October’s revised index reading was 135.9.
The Comerica Bank Texas Economic Activity Index increased in November for the third consecutive month. Some state-level data was not available this month due to the partial federal government shutdown. We included our own estimates for housing starts and for total state trade for the month of November so that we could publish our headline index this month. Data for the other seven index components was collected and processed normally. In November eight out of nine index components were positive. They were nonfarm payrolls, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), house prices, industrial electricity demand, rig count, total trade, hotel occupancy and sales tax revenues. Housing starts declined in November. We expect that the dip in crude oil prices through 2018Q4 will result in some drag on the Texas economy, but not as much drag as we saw in 2015, when our Texas Index declined through the year. Drillers and producers have scaled back capital spending plans for 2019 and employment growth in the oil patch looks like it is slowing. A cooler U.S. and global economy this year will have an impact on Texas beyond the drag from lower oil prices. The now-ended partial federal government shutdown will not have a significant impact on the Texas Index for January. However, a noticeable drop in Consumer Confidence through December and January is bad news for the two auto production plants in Texas.
For a PDF version of this report, click here: Comerica Bank’s Texas Index Climbs
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