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Texas Service Sector Activity Continues to Increases But at Slower Pace in August, Says Dallas Fed Survey

DALLAS—Texas service sector activity continued to reflect expansion up in August, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey.

The TSSOS revenue index—a key measure of state service sector conditions—remained positive but retreated from 19.1 in July to 9.3 in August.

The survey is conducted monthly by the Dallas Fed to obtain a timely assessment of activity in the state’s service sector, which represents almost 70 percent of the state economy and employs close to 7.6 million workers.

Positive readings in the survey generally indicate expansion of service sector activity, while readings below zero generally indicate contraction.

Labor market indicators reflected slower employment growth and slightly longer workweeks in August. The employment index fell to 6.1. The hours worked index dipped from 5.3 in July to 2.3 in August.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions reflected less optimism in August. The general business activity index declined from 7.9 in July to 2.1 in August.

Indexes of future service sector activity also reflected less optimism in August.

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 declined in August, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. After two consecutive months in positive territory, the sales index plunged from 11.5 in July to –3.6 in August.

Indexes of future retail sector activity reflected less optimism in August.
For this month’s Texas Business Outlook Surveys, respondents were asked supplemental questions on employment expectations and the labor market in Texas.

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Media contact:
Justin Jones
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: 214-922-5449
Email: Justin.Jones@dal.frb.org