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Texas Service Sector Activity Picked Up in May, Says Dallas Fed Survey

Survey also finds Texas retail sales grew, but at a slower pace

For Immediate Release: May 31, 2017

DALLAS—Texas service sector activity increased in May, 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 four points to 15.9 in May.

“Texas private service sector activity continued expanding with a pick-up in growth this month, although uncertainty remains a limiting factor,” said Dallas Fed economist Amy Jordan. “Turning to retail, sales increased for the seventh consecutive month, and growth remains ahead of last 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 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 slightly longer workweeks this month. The employment index moved up from 4.5 to 7.7. The hours worked index remained positive but fell slightly to 2.1.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions reflected slightly less optimism in May. The general business activity index edged down from 9.0 to 7.7. The company outlook index dipped four points to 7.1.

Respondents’ expectations regarding future business conditions also reflected slightly less optimism in May. The index of future general business activity ticked down to 18.9. The index of future company outlook edged down two points to 23.2.

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 May, albeit at a slower pace than last month, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index fell from 13.7 in April to 10.1 in May.

Retailers’ perceptions of broader economic conditions reflected less optimism in May. The general business activity index moved down five points into negative territory to a reading of –2.6. The company outlook index fell to a reading near zero.


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