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Texas Service Sector Growth Strengthens; Retail Sales Climb, According to Dallas Fed Survey

For immediate release: December 31, 2013

DALLAS—Texas service sector activity picked up pace in December, 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—advanced from 11.4 to 16, its highest reading since September 2012.

The Dallas Fed conducts the survey monthly to obtain a timely assessment of activity in the state’s service sector, which represents 60 percent of the state economy and employs nearly 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. The employment index rose from 3.9 to 9.7, indicating hiring picked up. The hours worked index moved out of negative territory to 0.9, suggesting average workweek length held steady.

Perceptions of broader economic conditions reflected more optimism in December. The general business activity index rose from 10.3 to 12.5. The company outlook index advanced, with 19 percent of respondents reporting that their outlook improved from last month and 8 percent noting it worsened.

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 climbed again in December, according to survey respondents. However, the sales index fell from 20.3 to 15.2, suggesting slower growth.

Labor market indicators improved despite slower sales growth. The employment index rose from 9.1 to 13, indicating hiring picked up pace.

Retailers’ perceptions of broader economic conditions continued to reflect optimism in December.


Media contact:
James Hoard
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Phone: 214-922-5307