The Texas Economic Activity Index declined for a 10th straight month in August.
The Texas Economic Activity Index is produced monthly by Comerica Bank and measures such variables as non-farm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, unemployment insurance claims, housing starts, sales tax revenues, home prices, and the state rig count.
Lower oil prices and the drop in oil field activity have continued to impact the Texas economy, though it is showing signs of easing. August figures show a 0.4 percentage decrease from July’s index reading of 95.5. Throughout 2014, the index averaged 105.2 points for all of 2014, four and four-fifths points above the average for full-year 2013.
Comerica predicts that the oil business will remain stressed through the remainder of this year, though there are some positive economic markers. Housing starts and house prices are holding up statewide and the increased economic diversity means we will likely see net positive job creation.
According to Texas Comptroller’s Office, the Texas region’s consumer confidence index dropped in October to 115.9, down 2.5 percent from September 2015, and 9.7 percent lower than one year ago. But the Texas unemployment rate for September was down from 4.8 percent from 2014 and has been at or below the national rate for 105 consecutive months.