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Dallas Fed: Texas Service Sector Picks Up in February; Retail Sales Rise

For immediate release: February 26, 2013

DALLAS—Texas service sector activity expanded in February, 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—rose from 8.4 to 14.2, with 34 percent of respondents noting revenues increased from January.

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 more hiring and longer workweeks. The employment index advanced 7 points to 13.4, its highest reading in 12 months, and the hours worked index moved up to 3.4 after coming in close to zero last month.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions improved again in February. The general business activity index held steady at a reading of 5.2.

Expectations regarding future business conditions remained optimistic.

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

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 posted their seventh consecutive month of growth in February, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index was positive but edged down from 14.8 to 12.4, suggesting growth slowed slightly. Inventories rose.

Indexes of future retail sector activity were not much changed and remained in solid positive territory in February.


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Alexander Johnson
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