Amarillo’s economy has slowed down. Retail sales have weakened and we continue to see a slowdown in employment growth.
Retail sales were up only 1% from 12 months ago. The year to date retail sales are a little lower than last year. Car sales had a rough month with New Car Sales down 6% from last year and Used Car Sales down 1%.
The Employer’s Survey shows an increase of only 60 total jobs from this time last year. Manufacturing, Service, and Education & Health Services saw decreases. The Household Survey was up only 304 jobs. The Unemployment Rate is 2.1% in Amarillo. The Employer’s Survey for Lubbock indicates 1,900 new jobs. Their Household Survey shows an increase of 1,500 jobs.
Residential Construction has slowed down. There were 35 Housing Starts last month compared to 43 a year before. Year to date starts are 142 vs.194 last year.
Commercial Construction has also stalled. Last month’s permits were 30% lower than 2018 and 32% down year to date from 2018.
Drilling activity is half what it was last year. There are 11 drilling rigs in the Panhandle down from 19 last year. These rigs are operating more efficiently, so total wells drilled is probably down 25%.The price of oil is flat with a year ago at $63.89. Natural Gas is down 4% to $2.66.
The recent rains will set us up well for Summer crops. Wheat will get cut over the next month and its price is down 12% at $4.11. Corn that was planted should get off to a good start and its prices are down 6% at $3.84. Cotton is at $68 and flat with a year ago.
Feedyards continue to have a good spring. Profits of $53 per head on unhedged cattle at prices that are 2% lower than last spring.
Dairy struggles continue. Some small profits are here and there, but for the majority of the industry, operations remain below breakeven prices even though milk is up 7% to $15.30.
*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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