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03/27/2012

Texas' service sector activity grew in March, but at slower pace, Dallas Fed says

Activity in Texas’ service sector increased in March, although some indicators suggested growth slowed, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported today in its monthly Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey.

Services represent 59 percent of the Texas economy, employing nearly 7 million workers.

The survey’s revenue index fell to 16.5 from 22.8, which “suggests revenue growth slowed slightly,” the Dallas Fed said.

Positive readings in the survey indicate expansion.

Labor market: “Indicators also reflected slower growth,” the Fed said. The employment index fell to 7.7, lowest in four months. The hours-worked index “edged down but remained in positive territory.”

Broader economy: General business conditions “remained strong but declined slightly.” The general business activity index moved down to 18.9, its fifth consecutive positive reading.

Indexes of future service sector activity “remained in positive territory,” the Fed said.

The survey’s retail component indicated retail sales rose to 22 from 17.5, “marking 10 consecutive months of sales increases. Inventories rose.”

- Scott Nishimura

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