HLRGazette Archives

Relive some of our best stories.

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Texas economic outlook

E-mail Print PDF
The Texas economic outlook
Highlights: The Consumer Confidence Index for the Texas Region (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma) for October rose almost two percent, year-over-year and more than nine percent over September 2010 totals, which bodes well for holiday retail spending in the state.
Here is the latest report from the Office of the Texas Comptroller:
The Texas economy, the world's 11th largest, continues to fare better than those of many other states. But Texas did feel the effects of the worldwide recession during 2009. The state is emerging from the recession more quickly than the nation, but the pace of recovery is slow.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. economy peaked in December 2007 and entered recession. The Texas economy continued to grow through most of 2008, with employment peaking in August that year, then Texas joined the nation in losing jobs. During 2009, Texas' gross state product (GSP) declined more slowly than the U.S. economy (-1.4 percent versus -2.4 percent.)
Despite the state's economy contracting in 2009, Texas' relative economic advantage has continued as the state and U.S. economies have begun to recover in 2010. Although job growth will continue to lag the renewed expansion of economic production, the Comptroller's office estimates that the Texas' GSP will grow from a reduced base by 3.0 percent during calendar 2010.
· Texas' October 2010 unemployment rate was 8.1 percent, the same as the previous month.
· Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 47,900 jobs from September to October. Between October 2009 and October 2010, Texas gained 172,800 jobs.
· The U.S gained 151,000 total nonfarm jobs in October 2010.
· The Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for 46 consecutive months.
· Thus far, Texas has weathered the national real estate crunch without significant damage to property values. Sales and construction activity dropped to pre-2007 levels but have begun to show signs of recovery in 2010.
· A total of 4,317 building permits for single-family homes were issued in September 2010, 1,232 fewer than a year ago. In the 12 months ending in September 2010, 65,477 permits were issued, eight percent more than one year ago.
· The number of multi-family building permits issued rose from 1,603 in September 2009 to 1,867 in September 2010. During the 12 months ending in September 2010, 16,422 permits were issued, 23 percent less than one year ago.
· In September 2010, sales of existing single-family homes decreased by 9.8 percent from the previous month, to a total of 15,199. September home sales were 18.4 percent lower than in September 2009.
· Texas experienced 12,769 foreclosure filings in September 2010.
· In September 2010, the Texas foreclosure rate was one in every 752 mortgages. This was substantially better than Nevada's one in 69, Florida's one in 148, Arizona's one in 159 and California's one in 178.
Consumer Confidence Index
· U.S. consumer confidence increased by 3.3 percent from September to October 2010, rising to 50.2. Nationwide consumer confidence has continued to rebound from its recent low in February 2009 and now stands 3.1 percent higher than one year ago.
· The Texas region's consumer confidence index increased from 68 in September to 74.3 in October 2010, and is now up 1.9 percent from its level one year ago.
Oil and Natural Gas
· Natural gas and oil production tax collections combined are 164 percent higher for the first two months of fiscal year 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.
· By contrast, fiscal 2010 oil and natural gas production tax collections combined were 24 percent lower than collections in 2009.
· After reaching a 2008 summer high closing prices of $145.29 and falling to a low of $35.98 during February 2009, crude oil futures reached a settled price of $81.85 on November 18th, 2010.
· Similarly, natural gas futures prices have followed a similar path reaching a summer 2008 high of $13.58 and then falling to a September 3rd, 2009 low of $2.51. Prices recently settled at $4.01 on November 18th, 2010.
· Texas sales tax receipts for October 2010 were 6.6 percent higher than for October 2009.
· For fiscal 2010, state sales tax receipts were down 6.6 percent from fiscal 2009.
· Motor vehicle sales tax collections for October 2010 were 11.6 percent higher than for October 2009.
· The average core transaction price nationwide for a new car or truck during the first 15 days of October 2010 rose 10.9 percent to $27,454 from $24,758 in the first 15 days of October 2009.
· For the first 15 days of October 2010, total national new auto sales were 500,576 units, up 11.7 percent compared to the first 15 days of October 2009.
· Nationally, leases accounted for 26.9 percent of new vehicle sales in October 2010, an increase of 14.7 percent from October 2009.
· Stimulus Package
· In Texas, an estimated $18 billion in federal stimulus money is flowing to state and local governments. The Comptroller's office is tracking the $14.3 billion that comes through the state Treasury. The Comptroller's analysis is ongoing. For the latest information, visit the ARRA Web site, A Texas Eye on the Dollars.
Cap and Trade
· Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could negatively impact the Texas economy. The state could see 173,000 to 425,000 fewer jobs than expected to 2030 as a result of increased energy prices from the cap and trade portion of the recently proposed bill. The resulting decline in gross state product is estimated to be between $25 billion and $58 billion.
· The Comptroller's office is continuing to analyze potential implications and assess how green jobs and energy efficiency programs in the proposals could offset negative impacts. For the latest information, visit the Comptroller's Web site at · www.window.state.tx.us then click on the Susan Combs link. The site will have a link to the Cap and Trade page.