Amarillo’s economy has slowed considerably, but it won’t be until next month that we can really see the effects of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 shutdown.
Retail sales for the month were up 4% from a year ago. They are up 7.5% year to date. This shows how strong the economy was going into the crisis.
The Household Survey shows an increase of around 2,242 jobs from last year, up almost 2%. The Employers’ Survey shows a decrease of 2%, down about the same number of 2,198. We aren’t even going to estimate how much each survey will be down next month.
Airline Boardings were down 4% from a year ago. Hotel / Motel tax collection is also down 6%. These numbers will be very bad next month.
Housing is a bright spot, with 30 year rates below 4%. There were 57 residential starts last month, up 46% from 12 months ago. Year to date starts are up 28% from last year.
Energy is in a precipitous drop. In March oil fell to $31 (average), but that number today is around $21.70. Natural Gas is $1.62. There are only 7 drilling rigs operating in the Panhandle.
Unhedged cattle are losing money, while packers’ margins have doubled. Cattle prices are very volatile and at $112, they are down 12% from a year ago. Dairies are seeing $16.25 for their milk, up 16% from last year.
Corn prices ($3.97) are flat with last year and wheat ( $4.45) is down 4%.
Our bank’s editorial is the nation’s economy was very strong going into the crisis and that our area’s economy was a little weaker due to lower energy prices. The duration of the crisis will determine the velocity of recovery.
*Base-100, January 1988
This document was prepared by Amarillo National Bank on behalf of itself for distribution in Amarillo, Texas and is provided for informational purposes only. The information, opinions, estimates and forecasts contained herein relate to specific dates and are subject to change without notice due to market and other fluctuations. The information, opinions, estimates and forecasts contained in this document have been gathered or obtained from public sources believed to be accurate, complete and/or correct. The information and observations contained herein are solely statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, sell or make any other investment decisions.
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