Slower job growth is the main reason Amarillo’s economy hasn’t grown this year. The slowdown in hiring is hurting retail sales, auto sales and construction.
Compared to 12 months ago, Amarillo has only a few more people working. The Employer’s Survey shows an increase of 854 jobs. The Household Survey has gaining just over 1,000 jobs. We attached a white paper with our thoughts on area employment to this month’s Pulse.
Retail sales are up 9% from 12 months ago, but only up 2% year to date. New car sales are down 6% and used car sales are up 2%.
Lower interest rates are flowing through the economy, although some short term rates unexpectedly went up this week. 30-year mortgage rates are still low at 4.13%. Residential Starts are down 47% from 12 months ago and year to date starts are down 30%. Total construction is down 24% from a year ago.
The outlook for Farmers is mixed. While we wait to hear the final outcome of the Fall crops, corn prices are up 5% and cotton is flat with a year ago. Wheat prices are down 28%.
Feedyards are losing $150 a head on unhedged cattle. The shutdown of the Kansas packing plant has had an impact on area cattle. The plant is expected to be running at full capacity, much sooner than originally thought (early 2020).
Dairies are profitable with milk prices at $17, up 21% from a year ago.
*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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