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Dallas Fed: Texas Service Sector Growth Continues in March; Retail Sales Increase but at a Slower Pace

For immediate release: March 26, 2013

DALLASTexas service sector activity expanded in March, 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 up from 14.2 to 15.4, its highest reading since 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 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 hiring and longer workweeks. The employment index fell 5 points to 8.3 and the hours worked index held steady at 3.1.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions improved again in March. The general business activity index advanced from 5.2 to 9.8, recording its highest reading in a year.

Expectations regarding future business conditions reflected more optimism this month. The index of future general business activity rose slightly to 18.7, and the index of future company outlook jumped up from 9.6 to 20.7.

Indexes of future service sector activity edged up 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 increased in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey, but the sales index fell 4 points to 8.4, suggesting growth slowed. Inventories also rose more slowly.

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


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Alexander Johnson
Phone: (214) 922-5288