Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index improved in April, up 0.2 percentage points to a level of 92.1. April’s reading is 19 points, or 27 percent, above the index cyclical low of 72.8. The index averaged 97.5 points for all of 2015, seven and three-fifths points below the average for full-year 2014. March’s index reading was 91.9.
“Our Texas Economic Activity Index increased slightly in April, marking the first increase since September 2015. We view this as a positive sign for the Texas economy which is still weighed down by the beleaguered energy sector. With oil prices firming near $50 per barrel after bottoming out in February, we are seeing the first signs of stability in the rig count. The last four weekly rig count totals for Texas have increased modestly after the count bottomed out for the week ending May 20th at just 173 active rigs. Despite the positive recent news from the rig count, the overall Texas economy is still underperforming. Payroll job growth appears to be trending down with only 11,900 jobs added in April and 200 jobs added statewide in May,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Even with stronger oil prices, downward momentum in the Texas economy may take some months to dissipate.”
For a PDF version of the Texas Economic Activity Index click here: TexasIndex_0616.