Amarillo’s economy had a good month in November, but there are signs of concern on the horizon.
Most consumer categories were up about 5% from a year ago, with retail sales up 5% (YTD up 4%), and New Cars up 5%. Airline Boardings are up 6% and Hotel/Motel Tax up 6%. Good consumer outlook has kept these strong this Fall.
Workers employed are up 1,400 jobs in the Employer’s Survey, with the largest gains in oil field, construction and health care. Household Survey shows an adjusted gain of 2,500, with unemployment down to 2.5%. Amarillo wages are up 4% from a year ago, with the Amarillo CPI up about 3%.
Lubbock’s Household Survey was up 4,100 jobs for an unemployment rate of 2.7%. Midland and Odessa are up 6,800, with unemployment of 2.3%
Housing in Amarillo has slowed, as mortgage rates remain about 5%. November Residential starts are down 40% from a year ago, but still up 15% YTD. Median sales price is down 3%. Total permits for November were flat, with YTD still up 10%.
Oil is turning negative, as prices dropped from $70 to $48. Natural Gas prices had spiked to $4.50, but are back down toward $3.00. Natural Gas liquid prices had been climbing until the recent the drop in oil, so their decline helped bring the natural gas prices down towards more normal levels. There are still 19 rigs working in the Panhandle, up one from a year ago.
Cattle prices are up 1% from a year ago, and about breaking even versus losing $25 per head a year ago. Dairies are operating at a break-even, with milk prices of $14.50.
Wheat prices are up 30% and corn is up 7%. Both will need more moisture than we got last year, but are off to a good start. The South Plains got all of their cotton cut before last week’s snow storm and prices are up 6% from last year.
*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.
© Amarillo National Bank. All Rights Reserved. NMLS #644528