Economic Analysis

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May 2020

The impact of the virus induced shutdowns are evident in this month’s economic numbers. Sizable job losses and lower retail sales will mean Amarillo’s economy is going to be strained for the foreseeable future.

Retail sales were down 7% (these are March numbers) from 12 months ago. Grocery stores are reporting increases in sales, but most other non-discretionary activity is down.

The job numbers are starting to hit us hard, as unemployment climbs to 8.8%. There are 20,000 less people working according to the Household Survey. The Employers’ Survey shows a decrease of 9,000. The Household Survey is more important for our area during these times, as it includes people working for unincorporated businesses, part time and also farming and ranching operations. We will closely watch the Employers’ Survey this Summer, as it will breakout the hardest hit industries- Hospitality, Oil, Manufacturing, and Construction.

Medical job trends will also be interesting, as doctor’s offices and Hospitals hopefully open back up over the next month. Manufacturing was down 7% and Construction was down 3%. Our bank saw giant Payment Protection Program demand over the last 7 weeks and hopefully this program will allow many jobs to stay intact after the crisis ends.

The airport is reporting a 52% drop in March and 94% in April for Airline Boardings from a year ago. Motel tax is down 37% for March and will probably drop more.

Housing is a bright spot, with starts up 13% for the year and interest rates below 3.5% on a 30-year mortgage. Sales prices were up 7%. Building Permits doubled from 12 months ago, bringing YTD to +10%.

Oil prices are down 60% from 12 months ago. Natural Gas prices are down 37%. For the first time in over 30 years, there is not a single active rig in operation in the Panhandle.

Farmers are hurt by lack of rain and a smaller wheat crops. Packing plants are only buying 50% of normal cattle levels, pushing cattle prices down 10%. Milk prices are down to $12.50 (schools closed) or 18% for the year.

We have a White Paper (“Amarillo Unknowns”) on other economic impacts to Amarillo and how certain government funds will flow through the area.

 May 2020

Current Month

Last Month

Last Year

 Index*

149.00

148.20

175.85

 Sales Tax Collections

$7,054,758

$5,507,678

$7,561,918

 Sales Tax Collection-YTD

$33,350,058

$26,295,300

$32,501,149

 New Vehicle Sales

450

575

587

 Used Vehicle Sales

1,022

1,838

1,727

 Airline Boardings

14,603

25,715

30,543

 Hotel/Motel Receipt Tax

$402,823

$427,958

$643,388

 Population - Corporate Amarillo

191,514

191,514

191,514

 Employment - CLF

119,039

132,242

131,790

 Unemployment Rate

8.80%

3.60%

2.10%

 Total Workers Employed (Household Survey)

108,614

126,854

129,003

 Total Workers Employed (Employers Survey) 

111,400

121,203

120,423

 Average Weekly Wages

$955.84

$865.22

$924.45

 Gas

66,963

69,640

63,466

Interest Rates: 30 Year Mortgage Rates

3.375%

3.125%

4.500%

 Building Permits Dollar Amount

$62,698,906

$43,821,543

$29,764,832

 Year to Date Permits

$ 141,816,849

$81,311,039

$129,352,677

 Residential Starts

44

29

35

 Year To Date Starts

160

116

142

 Six Months Trailing

$166,604

$120,484

$176,475

 Median House Sold Price

$182,000

$169,000

$168,900

 Drilling Rigs In Panhandle

0

1

11

 Oil Price Per Barrel

$27.50

$15.83

$63.89

 Natural Gas

$1.67

$1.87

$2.66

 Wheat Per Bushel

$4.59

$4.35

$4.11

 Fed Cattle Per CWT

$108.05

$105.00

$119.85

 Corn Per Bushel

$3.41

$3.80

$3.84

 Cotton (Cents Per Pound)

$57.60

$60.70

$68.80

Milk

$12.50

$15.00

$15.30

Amarillo’s drop in overall economic activity looks like it will be from 10-20% (slightly less than some national numbers). Gasoline sales were down 30%, but have recovered to down 15-20%.

Amarillo’s economy will be supported by:

$11 million in Federal funds to the City
$7 million in Federal funds to the Airport
Some money in Federal funds to Potter and Randall Counties
$500 million (approximately) PPP loans to businesses
Unemployment Insurance
$1,200 Government Stimulus Checks

Overall, the economy will get a boost from lower interest rates, which should put a floor under house prices, auto sales and credit card payments. Our bank’s past due loans and mortgages have not spiked as of now.

Declines will come from:

Declining confidence in businesses
Halt in travel and hotel visits
50% drop in restaurants
Unemployment
Consumer pessimism delaying purchases

We expect unemployment to reach about 15% in Amarillo. If the economy recovers, we could be back to 6% unemployment by year end.

Another positive is the amount of savings available, as people have just spent less money while at home. This built up liquidity should be a force for future growth in the Fall.

The Farm Program is coming together, with $19 billion for farmers and ranchers. Some farm losses will be covered. Cattle have been especially hard hit, with the packers able to take only half the amount of cattle available. Cattle losses during February to April will be covered up to $250,000. Dairy has a protection program in place, so they will probably do alright.

Oil and gas will be a drag on the economy, as will tourism during the usually busy summer season. If we have a V-shaped recovery, the Fall should pick up, but estimates are that year-end numbers will still be below last January’s numbers.

 

*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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