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Dallas Fed: Texas Service Sector Activity Expands Modestly in October; Retail Sales Growth Slows

For immediate release: October 30, 2012

DALLAS—Texas service sector activity expanded in October, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey.

The TSSOS revenue index—a key measure of state service sector conditions—edged down from 15 to 13.5, suggesting growth slowed slightly from September.

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.

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

Labor market indicators reflected slower employment growth but increased workweeks. The employment index fell from 9.8 to 7.5 due to an increased share of employers reporting that payrolls fell, and the hours worked index edged up from 2.6 to 4.3.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions didn’t change much in October. The general business activity index fell less than 1 point from 10.1 to 9.3.

Expectations regarding future business conditions were slightly less optimistic than 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 at a significantly slower pace in October, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index fell from 22.3 to 11.3. Inventories rose.

Indexes of future retail sector activity remained in positive territory but fell in October.


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