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Texas Service Sector Activity Strengthens in April, Says Dallas Fed Survey

For immediate release: April 26, 2016

DALLAS—Texas service sector activity increased in April, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey (TSSOS).

The revenue index—a key measure of state service sector conditions—rose from 6.4 in March to 10.6 in April, its highest reading this year.

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 8.2 million workers.

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

The employment index moved up from 1.1 in March to 6.3 in April. The hours worked index was similar to last month at 2.5.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions remained mixed in April. The general business activity index was negative for a fourth consecutive month, unchanged from March at –3.7. The company outlook index rose from 3.1 to 7.3.

Expectations regarding future business conditions reflected more optimism in April. The index of future general business activity was similar to last month at 2.3. The index of future company outlook rose from 9.9 to 14.6. Indexes of future service sector activity, such as future revenue and employment, remained in solid positive territory this month.

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 grew in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. After two consecutive months in negative territory, the sales index advanced from –3.1 to 7.0.

Retailers’ perceptions of broader economic conditions were mixed again this month. The general business activity index fell sharply from a reading of zero to –11.4. The company outlook index remained positive but dipped to 4.1.

Indexes of future retail sector activity remained in solid positive territory this month.

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