For immediate release: February 28, 2012
Dallas Fed: Texas Service Sector Activity Picks Up Pace; Retail Sales Growth Strengthens in February
DALLAS—Texas service sector activity increased in February, according to business executives responding to the Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey (TSSOS).
The survey is conducted monthly by the Dallas Fed to obtain a timely assessment of activity in the state’s service sector, which represents 59 percent of the state economy and employs close to 7 million workers.
The TSSOS revenue index—a key measure of state service sector conditions—rose sharply from 13.7 to 22.8, with 38 percent of respondents noting revenue increased from January.
Positive readings in the survey generally indicate expansion of service sector activity, while readings below zero generally indicate contraction.
Labor market indicators reflect stronger hiring and longer workweeks. The employment index rose to its best reading since September 2007, and the hours worked index jumped up from 1.6 in January to 12.4 in February.
Perceptions of general business conditions continued to improve. The general business activity index moved up to 24.6, its best reading in the history of the survey.
Indexes of future service sector activity remained in solid positive territory, and expectations regarding future business conditions were slightly more optimistic.
TSSOS also includes a component called the Texas Retail Outlook Survey, which uses information from respondents in the retail and wholesale sectors only.
Retail sales increased in February, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index rose from 12.1 to 17.5, marking nine consecutive months of sales increases. Inventories rose sharply.
Indexes of future retail sector activity remained in solid positive territory in February.
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