Amarillo’s economy continues at a level flat for the last 3 months, as employment is holding steady, and retail sales are basically flat, but construction is providing a strong boost.
Retail sales for the last 3 months have been essentially flat, with 12 months before and YTD being up 1%. Lubbock is up 2.8%, while Midland/Odessa are down 20.2%. This is better than the statewide average, which showed a 6% drop. Vehicle sales slowed from their stronger pace and are down about 20% from last year.
Airline Boardings are down 47% from last year and about flat with the month before; however, motels are doing relatively better, being down only 22%, as auto trips have replaced airplane trips.
Employment is down in Amarillo 5.2%, Lubbock 3.6% and Midland/Odessa 12.1%. There are 6,000 people less working in Amarillo (Household Survey down 6,600 and Employer’s Survey down 6,000). The unemployment rate is listed at 5.1%, but adding back the numbers who have left the labor force, gets the actual rate to around 8%. However, wages are up 2.4% from last year.
Construction is strong, with monthly Building Permits up 130% from last year and up 44% YTD. Residential Starts are much of this increase this month, with Starts up 33% and YTD up 23%. This September saw 366 existing homes sold—the highest in history for September. The average house price is up 16%, which is helped by the low mortgage rates.
Energy continues very weak, with only 1 drilling rig running, down from 4 last year and 18 2-years ago. Oil prices are hovering at $40, but Natural Gas prices are up to $2.80 from $2.30 last month and $2.20 last year.
Farming is hurt by lack of rain, but prices are up; with Wheat up 35%, Corn up 12% and Cotton flat with a year ago. Milo was a good profitable crop this year.
Cattle continue to do better, with prices up this month to about the same level as last year, with the same for Dairy, up from last month and level with last year.
These results are certainly adequate and much better than the levels that we feared would occur when the virus hit in March.
*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.
Trends and Comparisons
These industries employment levels are:
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