Service sector

Texas service sector sees significant acceleration in February – Corridor News


AActivity in the Texas service sector rose sharply in February, according to business executives who responded to the Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey. The earnings index, a key measure of conditions in the utilities sector, rose from 2.8 in January to 21.9 in February.

Labor market indicators point to an acceleration in the pace of growth in hiring and hours worked.

The employment index rose from 9.2 to 14.6, while the part-time employment index added three points to reach 6.5. The hours worked index fell from 7.4 in January to 10.4 in February.

Retail sales activity in February bounced back into positive territory after a decline in January, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook survey.

The sales index, a key measure of state retail activity, jumped 18 points to 10.2 in February, above its 12-month average. Businesses noted a continued decline in inventories, albeit at a slower pace, as the inventory index fell from -10.0 to -2.1.

Retail labor market indicators were strongly positive in February, with a faster pace of hiring and longer weekly hours.

The employment index added five points to 11.0 – its best reading since 2018 – while the part-time employment index rose from 1.6 to 8.4. The hours worked index rebounded from negative territory to 10.6, its highest level since before the pandemic.

For this month’s survey, Texas business leaders answered additional questions about supply chain disruptions.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas