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Texas Service Sector Activity Grows in March, Says Dallas Fed Survey

For Immediate Release: Mar. 28, 2017

DALLAS—Texas service sector activity grew in March, 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 slightly to 15.2 in March.

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 faster employment growth and longer workweeks this month. The employment index edged up 2 points to 8.1. The hours worked index at 6.5 was similar to last month.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions reflected slightly less optimism in March. The general business activity index dipped from 15.6 to 13.2. The company outlook index fell slightly to 10.3.

Expectations regarding future business conditions reflected less optimism in March. The index of future general business activity declined 9 points to 22.3. The index of future company outlook fell slightly to 28.4.

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 increased at a faster pace in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index rose from 6.9 in February to 10.3 in March.

Retailers’ perceptions of broader economic conditions reflected less optimism in March. The general business activity index moved down from 8.4 to 3.0. The company outlook index dropped into negative territory to –1.3.

Retailers’ perceptions of future broader economic conditions also reflected less optimism in March. The index of future general business activity retreated from 30.7 to 8.1. The index of future company outlook fell sharply from 28.5 to 12.0.

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