San Antonio Economic Indicators
June 26, 2020
The San Antonio Business-Cycle Index grew at a record pace after a severe contraction in the prior two months. The local unemployment rate declined, and net jobs increased in May, although the level of jobs remained significantly below February. Local consumer spending has improved significantly since mid-April but remains below pre-COVID-19 levels. May home sales improved slightly, and stock prices of San Antonio-based companies increased for the majority of June.
The San Antonio Business-Cycle Index—a broad measure of economic activity in the metro—rebounded in May with 43.1 percent annualized growth, the largest expansion since the index began in 1978 (Chart 1). Strength in the index was attributed to a lower unemployment rate and job gains in May.
Unemployment Rate Ticks Down
The metro unemployment rate ticked down to a still-elevated 11.8 percent in May, lower than the state and national rates of 13.0 and 13.3 percent, respectively (Chart 2).
Payrolls Contract in All Industries
Despite employment growth in May, San Antonio net jobs declined an annualized 28.3 percent in the three months ending in May (Chart 3). All sectors experienced losses. The leisure and hospitality sector shed the most jobs at an annualized 73.5 percent (-40,520 jobs, not annualized). The other services sector (jobs such as automotive repair and maintenance, barber shops, funeral homes and religious organizations) contracted 45.7 percent (-5,700 jobs), health and education services fell 33.8 percent (-16,840 jobs) and professional and business services declined 23.1 percent (-9,170 jobs).
Since early May, consumer spending (measured by credit and debit card spending) in San Antonio has improved more than in the state. However, as of June 17, spending in San Antonio was down 6.9 percent relative to January 2020 and down 11.4 percent in Texas (Chart 4).
Existing-home sales increased 0.3 percent in San Antonio and declined 0.5 percent in the state in May (Chart 5). Despite sharp drops in March and April, home sales in San Antonio were 0.8 percent higher in the first five months of the year relative to the same time last year, while Texas sales were 2.8 percent lower over the same period. In May, the median price of homes sold was $235,789 in San Antonio, up 3.3 percent from a year ago, and $240,379 in Texas, up 1.4 percent.
Stock prices of San Antonio-based companies climbed 3.3 percent from May 28 to June 23, and the S&P 500 rose 3.4 percent during the same period (Chart 6). Firms in manufacturing experienced broad-based price declines, while firms in other industries saw mixed performance.
NOTE: Data may not match previously published numbers due to revisions.
About San Antonio Economic Indicators
Questions can be addressed to Judy Teng at firstname.lastname@example.org. San Antonio Economic Indicators is published every month on the Thursday after state and metro employment data are released.