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Dallas Fed: Texas Service Sector Activity Expands at a Slower Pace in April; Retail Sales Fall

For immediate release: April 30, 2013

DALLASGrowth in Texas service sector activity slowed in April, 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—remained positive but fell over 9 points to 6.1, its lowest reading in nine months.

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 improved despite weaker revenue growth. The employment index edged up to 9.2 from 8.3, and the hours worked index rose 4 points to 7.1, its highest reading since May 2012.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions reflected less optimism in April. The general business activity index fell 6 points to 3.7, and the company outlook index also edged down.

Respondents’ expectations regarding future business conditions reflected less optimism this month. The index of future general business activity moved down 8 points to 10.8, and the index of future company outlook fell 10 points to 11.

Indexes of future service sector activity fell slightly but 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 declined in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey. The sales index plunged to –4.4 from 8.4, its first negative reading since July.

Indexes of future retail sector activity also decreased but remained in solid positive territory in April.


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Alexander Johnson
Phone: (214) 922-5288