Economic Analysis

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March 2019

Flat retail sales, slower job growth, and less drilling activity kept Amarillo’s economy in a stall for the first quarter of 2019.

Retail sales are up 2% from a month ago, but are down year to date compared to 2018. Car sales had a horrible month, with Used Car sales down 41% and New Car sales down 27%.

Airline Boarding's were up 5% from last year, and Hotel/Motel Tax collections were up 2%.

Both the Household Survey (+88 jobs) and the Employers’ Survey (+100 jobs) are flat with last year. The slowdown in job growth will hit construction, housing, and retail sales, as we go through the year. Lubbock’s Household Survey shows an increase in 2,000 jobs and their Employers’ Survey is up 1,900. Midland/Odessa’s Household Survey is up 8,000 jobs from this time last year and the Employers’ is up 9,200.

Construction is nearly double in 2019 compared to 2018. There is a lot of residential remodels, improvements to business buildings and a Church being built. Housing Starts are nearly flat with 12 months ago, and year to date are down 29%.  April’s lower mortgage rates should alleviate some of the less than good economic news and stabilize Amarillo’s housing market.

Drilling activity is down 50% in the Panhandle. There are 10 Drilling Rigs operating compared to 20 a year ago. Lower Natural Gas prices (flat with last year at $2.85) are mostly to blame. Constraints placed on the Panhandle Natural Gas Market come mostly from a yearlong interruption in operations at a major Panhandle Gathering Plant. Oil prices are stable at over $60 per barrel.

Wheat prices are down 10%; cotton is flat; and corn is down 2%. We are in a much better moisture position today than we were a year ago.

Cattle prices are up 5% from a year ago, and break-even are around $121, so Feed yards are profitable.

Dairies are operating just at breakeven and have been for a while now. Higher supply is pushing milk prices down, but area Dairies have done a good job deleveraging over the last decade.

 April 2019

Current Month 

Last Month 

 Last Year

 Index*

179.40

169.58

198.60

 Sales Tax Collections

$5,612,007

$5,642,211

$5,479,156

 Sales Tax Collection-YTD

$24,939,231

$19,327,223

$25,054,584

 New Vehicle Sales

711

753

977

 Used Vehicle Sales

2,282

2,605

3,882

 Vehicle Registrations (Stickers)

24,122

18,821

24,023

 Airline Boardings

25,123

26,518

24,274

 Hotel/Motel Receipt Tax

$434,023

$477,747

$424,851

 Population - Corporate Amarillo

191,514

191,514

191,514

 Employment - CLF

133,197

133,456

133,400

 Unemployment Rate

2.70%

2.90%

3.00%

 Total Workers Employed (Household Survey)

129,588

129,616

129,500

 Total Workers Employed (Employers Survey) 

120,400

120,400

120,300

 Average Weekly Wages

$838.53

$838.53

$861.39

 Gas

67,100

63,367

63,277

 Water Connection

71,261

71,261

70,970

 Interest Rates: 30 Year Mortgage Rates

4.500%

 4.625%

 4.750%

 Building Permits Dollar Amount

$53,551,562

$22,546,606

$24,027,276

 Year to Date Permits

$99,587,845

$46,091,283

$147,224,541

 Residential Starts

39

39

42

 Year To Date Starts

107

68

151

 Median House Sold Price

$162,000

$165,000

$155,000

 Drilling Rigs In Panhandle

10

11

20

 Oil Price Per Barrel

$58.59

$54.46

$60.96

 Natural Gas

$2.85

$2.57

$2.78

 Wheat Per Bushel

$4.25

$4.61

$4.69

 Fed Cattle Per CWT

$123.91

$127.98

$117.35

 Corn Per Bushel

$3.95

$3.96

$4.04

 Cotton (Cents Per Pound)

$67.50

$65.30

$67.70

Milk

$15.00

$14.25

$14.25

*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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