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Dallas Fed: Texas Service Sector Activity Expands at a Slower Pace in January; Retail Sales Growth Picks Up

For immediate release: January 29, 2012

DALLASTexas service sector activity expanded in January, 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—fell from 14.9 to 8.4, suggesting 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 60 percent of the state economy and employs close to 7.3 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 down from 9.5 to 6.4, and the hours worked index was -0.2, suggesting little change in workweek length.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions were less optimistic in January. The general business activity index fell from 9.7 to 5.8.

Respondents were somewhat more optimistic about expectations regarding future business conditions than last month. The index of future general business activity advanced 3 points to 14.4.

Indexes of future service sector activity, such as future revenue and employment, generally rose in January and remained in solid positive territory.

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 picked up pace in January, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index rose from 6.9 to 14.8, its highest reading in four months. Inventories rose.

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


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