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DFW Economy Showing Signs of Strength, Says Dallas Fed Economist

For Immediate Release: Oct. 27, 2016

Job growth accelerates; housing remains strong in latest report

DALLAS—The Dallas–Fort Worth economy revved up in the third quarter, posting gains in several measures of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ latest DFW Economic Indicators report.

“We are seeing an acceleration of job growth in DFW in the third quarter,” said Dallas Fed vice president and senior economist Pia Orrenius. “This bolsters our view that the worst of the energy crisis might be over. Dallas continues to grow very strongly and Fort Worth has picked up recently—they were harder hit by the energy bust but now seem to be growing at a very rapid rate.”

The pace of employment growth nearly doubled in the third quarter compared with the second and was more than two percentage points faster than Texas and three percentage points faster than the U.S., according to the report. Dallas led the major Texas metro areas in third-quarter job growth at an annualized 4.9 percent pace, followed by Fort Worth at 4.2 percent.

Other measures also showed strength. The Dallas Business-Cycle Index rose an annualized 5.7 percent in September, while the Fort Worth index soared 7.9 percent. The indexes reflect broad movements in local economic conditions.

Additionally, “the housing market in DFW continues to boom,” Orrenius said, as an expanding local economy pushes demand higher.

Multifamily occupancy rose to a new high of 96 percent—considered essentially full occupancy, according to data from MPF Research. Over 50,000 multifamily units are currently under construction in the area. Through August, single-family permits increased 6.6 percent over the same period last year, compared with a 1.5 percent increase for Texas. And existing-home sales in DFW grew by more than 4 percent in September.

Home inventories remain tight, particularly at the lower end of the price spectrum, with inventories of homes priced $200,000 and under at around a one-month supply.

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Media contact:
Jennifer Chamberlain
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-6748
E-mail: jennifer.chamberlain@dal.frb.org