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Houston Economic Indicators DALLAS FED

Houston Economic Indicators

Houston Economic Indicators DALLAS FED
Houston Economic Indicators DALLAS FED
Houston Economic Indicators DALLAS FED

DALLASFED

Houston Economic Indicators DALLAS FED
Houston Economic Indicators DALLAS FED
Houston Economic Indicators DALLAS FED
Houston Economic Indicators DALLAS FED
Houston Economic Indicators DALLAS FED
Houston Economic Indicators DALLAS FED

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS • FEBRUARY 2013

Economic Activity

Economic Activity

Houston Business-Cycle Index

Index, October 1980 = 100 310 300 290 280 270 260 250 Dec-2008 Dec-2009 Dec-2010
Index, October 1980 = 100
310
300
290
280
270
260
250
Dec-2008
Dec-2009
Dec-2010
Dec-2011
Dec-2012

XX The Houston Business-Cycle index rose nearly 4 per-

cent in December, implying faster economic growth in the region. Energy-related activities, construction and international trade continue to propel growth. Regulatory uncertainty, the U.S. fiscal situation and stresses in the global economy cloud the horizon, but fundamentals in

many area industries were firmer than in much of 2012.

Employment

Employment

December Employment Growth

Total 1.5 Construction & mining 8.8 Educational & health services 1.4 Financial activities -10.4
Total
1.5
Construction & mining
8.8
Educational & health services
1.4
Financial activities
-10.4
Government
-0.3
Information
-7.5
Leisure & hospitality
5.0
Manufacturing
5.8
Other services
0.0
Professional & business svc
6.2
Trade, transp & utilities
-4.8

NOTE: Figures are seasonally adjusted, annualized monthly growth rates.

XX Houston payroll employment grew 1.5 percent in

December and 3.6 percent through 2012. Only 1997, 1998, 2005 and 2006 had greater annual growth rates the past 20 years. Construction, manufacturing, and profes-

sional and business services led employment growth in December.

XX The Houston unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a

percent to 6.2 percent in December as estimates showed the local labor force declined slightly. The U.S. held at 7.8

percent. The Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine index for Houston indicated the number of job advertise- ments in the area jumped 11.2 percent in December, the second-largest monthly increase in a year in which the average change was 2.7 percent.

Energy Prices

Energy Prices

Change in Energy Spot Prices, December to January

Percent change

10 8 6 4 2 0 -2 -4 -6 Gasoline Diesel Jet fuel HHNG* WTI
10
8
6
4
2
0
-2
-4
-6
Gasoline
Diesel
Jet fuel
HHNG*
WTI
Brent
$2.63/gal
$3.02/gal
$3.06/gal
$3.34/Mcf
$93.49/bbl
$112.19/bbl

*Henry Hub natural gas spot price. NOTE: Prices listed are one-month averages.

XX Oil prices were up in January but remained volatile.

Continued pipeline bottlenecks in Cushing, Okla., are keeping the price of West Texas Intermediate crude low compared with Brent and other oil prices, although the average difference fell to $18.63 in January. Natural gas prices dropped slightly to $3.34 per Mcf in January. Fuel prices rose, due in part to seasonal factors and higher oil prices. Natural gas inventories remained seasonally high but fell below year-ago levels for the first time since November.

International Trade

International Trade
Import and Export Growth Percent change, year/year 80 60 40 20 0 -20 Exports -40
Import and Export Growth
Percent change, year/year
80
60
40
20
0
-20
Exports
-40
Imports
-60
Dec-08
Dec-09
Dec-10
Dec-11
Dec-12

NOTE: Three-month moving average, adjusted using Houston consumer price index.

Top Importers from Houston, November

1,600 1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200 0 Colombia Netherlands United Venezuela NOTE: Three-month
1,600
1,400
1,200
1,000
800
600
400
200
0
Colombia
Netherlands
United
Venezuela
NOTE: Three-month moving average, adjusted using Houston consumer price index.
Brazil
Chile
China
Colombia
Mexico
Netherlands
U.K.
Venezuela
Brazil 11.6%
Chile 16.7%
China 19.8%
51.4%
Mexico 15.5%
-2.4%
Kingdom 8.2%
102.5%
11.6%
16.7%
19.8%
51.4%
15.5%
–2.4%
8.2%
102.5%

NOTE: Percentages are year-over-year growth rates of domestic exports to those nations from the Houston−Galveston Customs District.

XX November growth rates for both imports and exports

through the Houston–Galveston Customs District con- tinued on a nearly 18-month-long downward trend. This trend was driven mostly by a slowing global economy but more recently by a decline in oil imports. Iron and steel imports also have been declining. Many chemi- cals are in short supply due to changes in raw materials processed by refiners and petrochemical firms, a result of the shale production boom. These chemicals have seen their import values more than double over the last year as domestic prices have climbed. Petroleum prod- ucts, particularly diesel fuel, dominated export growth through November. Exports of organic chemicals also rose significantly.

XX Exports to South American countries posted the larg-

est percentage gains in November. Half of the top eight export destinations for products leaving Houston were on the continent. Exports to Venezuela alone grew more than 100 percent. Mexico remains Houston’s largest trad- ing partner, with an average of $2.75 billion in total trade in November.

Construction and Real Estate

Construction and Real Estate

Median Home Price and Home Sales

Dollars (thousands) Number (thousands) 170 7 6 160 5 150 4 3 140 2 130
Dollars (thousands)
Number (thousands)
170
7
6
160
5
150
4
3
140
2
130
Median price
Sales
1
120
0
Dec-2008
Dec-2009
Dec-2010
Dec-2011
Dec-2012

NOTE: Seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average.

Construction and Real Estate Employment, Fourth Quarter

Percent, year/year 14 12.4 12.4 12 9.3 10 8 6.0 6 4 2 0 –0.4
Percent, year/year
14
12.4
12.4
12
9.3
10
8
6.0
6
4
2
0
–0.4
-2
Total construction Total
construction
(Heavy Heavy and and civil civil
Construction Construction of of
Real Real estate, estate,
buildings buildings
engineering engineering
Specialty Specialty trade trade
contractors contractors
rental rental and and leasing leasing
construction

XX Home sales and prices continue to trend higher,

although existing-home sales growth has moderated

somewhat. Seasonally adjusted housing inventory fell

to 4.1 months in December, the lowest reading since April 2000. A shortage of available lots is keeping upward

pressure on the prices of single-family and multifamily

housing in the region. Permits and starts for single-family

units were both up in December and remain robust.

XX Commercial real estate markets continue to surpass

expectations, with lease rates and occupancy flat to up in the fourth quarter across industrial, retail and office

space, according to CBRE. Office-sector absorption was 4.3 million square feet in 2012.

XX With the success of commercial real estate, building-re-

lated construction jobs were up over 12 percent through

December. Heavy and civil-engineering construction jobs continued to grow strongly through December, ow- ing mostly to robust demand from the energy industry.

SOURCES: Business-cycle index: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; employment: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; energy prices: Energy Information Agency; international trade: International Trade Commission and Houston–Galveston Customs District; construction and real estate: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Houston Association of Realtors.

CONTACT: For questions or information, email jesse.thompson@dal.frb.org. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch, 1801 Allen Parkway, Houston, TX 77019.