Flat jobs numbers and steady commodity prices keep Amarillo’s economy level with a month ago.
April’s employment numbers show not much growth. Area jobs shows a gain of 900 jobs from a year ago. Gains in manufacturing (+500), Construction (+200) and Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+400) are offset by lower numbers of jobs in Professional (-300) and Education & Health (-200). The Household Survey shows an adjusted gain of 2,000 from a year ago, but that number might be a little high. The unadjusted Household number is 500 more jobs.
Retail sales are up from 2017. For the month of February, sales are up 1% from a year ago and up 2% year to date. New car sales are mostly flat with a year ago, and used car sales are down 7%.
Area travel is mixed, as Airline Boardings are up 1% from 2017 and the Hotel/Motel Tax collections are down 3%.
Real estate is having a good year. Through March, Amarillo has seen 830 houses sold compared to 709 a year ago. Residential starts for April (42) are flat with a year ago, and year to date starts (151) are up 37% from last year. Mortgage rates are about 50 basis points higher than they were a year ago.
Commercial construction is down from a year ago, but year to date numbers are ahead with the Downtown Ballpark, new apartments on Amarillo Boulevard, and Senior Living space at Town Square.
Energy commodities are hit and miss with Oil above $60 and Natural Gas at $2.78. Drilling activity in the Panhandle is level with a year ago.
Cattle are profitable with Fat Cattle prices at $117.35, down from last year, but above breakeven (about $110). Dairies are still seeing small profits, with Milk prices at $14.25, which is right above breakeven.
Ag commodities are holding steady, but the lack of moisture has area farmers preparing for a dry summer. Corn is up 10%. Cotton is down 1%. Wheat is up 35%.
*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