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Texas Service Sector Activity Increases At A Slower Pace In October, Says Dallas Fed Survey

For Immediate Release: Nov. 1, 2016

DALLAS—Texas service sector activity increased in October albeit at a slower pace than in September, 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—dipped from 13.0 in September to 9.9 in October.

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 edged down from 4.4 to 2.7. The hours worked index moved back into negative territory this month, falling from 3.1 to –1.4.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions reflected less optimism in October. The general business activity index remained positive but fell slightly from 4.7 to 3.0. The company outlook index edged down to a reading near zero.

Expectations regarding future business conditions continued to reflect optimism in October. The index of future general business activity ticked down from 10.4 to 9.1. The index of future company outlook came in at a reading of 12.2, similar to September. Indexes of future service sector activity, such as future revenue and employment, reflected more optimism 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 fell in October, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index moved back into contractionary territory, retreating from 2.0 in September to –6.6 in October.

Retailers’ perceptions of broader economic conditions worsened in October. The general business activity index plunged from 7.9 to –5.1. The company outlook index retreated from 2.9 to –5.6. Indexes of future retail sector activity continued to reflect optimism this month. For this month’s Texas Business Outlook Surveys, respondents were asked supplemental questions on credit availability conditions in Texas.

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