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

For immediate release: November 27, 2012

DALLASTexas service sector activity expanded in November, 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—dipped from 13.5 to 11.1, suggesting slightly slower growth.

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 some employment growth, but no change in workweeks. The employment index edged up from 7.5 to 8.2, and the hours worked index was 0.7, suggesting little change in workweek length.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions were slightly less optimistic in November. The general business activity index edged down from 9.3 to 7.1.

Respondents were markedly less optimistic about expectations regarding future business conditions than last month. The index of future general business activity moved down 6 points to 6.9, and the index of future company outlook fell sharply to 1.4, its lowest reading since August 2011.

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 slower pace in November, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index fell from 11.3 to 6.8, its lowest reading since July. Inventories rose.

Indexes of future retail sector activity remained in positive territory in November with the exception of part-time employment.


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Alexander Johnson
Phone: 214-922-5288