Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index declined in June, down 0.3 percentage points to a level of 91.2. June’s reading is 18 points, or 25 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. May’s index reading was 91.5.
“Our Texas Economic Activity Index dipped in June, for the second month, after firming in April. Overall, the trend is clearly down, reflecting the ongoing drag on the Texas economy from low oil prices. The index has now declined for 18 out of the last 20 months. Looking ahead, we know that the monthly Texas drilling rig count will cease to be a persistent negative for the state. The weekly rig count started to inch up in late May. However, that is not to say that the oil and gas sector will soon return to peak activity. We expect oil prices to remain in $45-$50 range through the third quarter, and that will provide only limited support for renewed oil field activity. Natural gas prices, which were generally trending up through the second quarter, now look a little softer. Natural gas in underground storage was about 9 percent higher in mid-August than a year ago, and that will keep prices soft,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Texas is still generating new jobs, but the rate of job growth is trending down. June nonfarm employment for the state was still up 1.5 percent over the previous 12 months.”
For a PDF version of the Texas Economic Activity Index click here: TexasIndex_0816.