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Dallas Fed: Texas Service Sector Expands at a Slower Pace; Retail Sales Growth Slows in April

For immediate release: May 1, 2012

DALLAS—Texas service sector activity increased in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey (TSSOS).

The survey is conducted monthly by the Dallas Fed to obtain a timely assessment of activity in the state’s service sector, which represents 59 percent of the state economy and employs close to 7 million workers.

The TSSOS revenue index—a key measure of state service sector conditions—fell from 16.5 to 12.6, suggesting growth slowed.

Positive readings in the survey generally indicate expansion of service sector activity, while readings below zero generally indicate contraction.

Labor market indicators reflected continued hiring and slightly longer workweeks. The employment index rose to 11.1 in April from 7.7 in March, and the hours worked index edged up slightly.

Respondents noted continued improvement in the broader economy but were slightly less optimistic than last month. The general business activity index moved down to 12, its lowest reading in three months.

Indicators of future service sector activity generally improved from last month.

TSSOS also includes a component called the Texas Retail Outlook Survey, which uses information from respondents in the retail and wholesale sectors only.

Retail sales increased in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index fell sharply from 22 to 10.6, consistent with slower sales growth. Inventories rose.

Indexes of future retail sector activity generally remained in solid positive territory in April.


Media contact:
Alexander Johnson
Phone: (214) 922-5288