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Texas Service Sector Activity Expands at a Slower Pace in January, Says Dallas Fed Survey

For Immediate Release: Jan. 31, 2017

DALLAS—Texas service sector activity expanded in January but at a slower pace, 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—fell from 21.3 in December to 16.2 in January.

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 about 8.4 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 longer workweeks this month. The employment index dipped from 6.9 to 4.8. The hours worked index at 4.8 was similar to last month.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions continued to reflect optimism in January. The general business activity index edged up 2 points to 21.2. The company outlook index edged down 3 points to 17.9.

Expectations regarding future business conditions reflected slightly less optimism in January. The index of future general business activity declined 5 points to 36.2. The index of future company outlook moved down from 40.3 to 33.0. Indexes of future service sector activity, such as future revenue and employment, also reflected slightly less 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 grew in January but at a slower pace than last month, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index retreated from 19.8 in December to 7.4 in January.

Retailers’ perceptions of broader economic conditions continued to reflect optimism in January. The general business activity index rose from 16.4 to 21.8. The company outlook index fell from 22.6 to 16.0.

Indexes of future retail sector activity reflected less optimism in January.

For this month’s Texas Business Outlook Surveys, respondents were asked special questions on the impact of energy industry activity on their business.


Media contact:
Jennifer Chamberlain
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: (214) 922-6748