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Economic Analysis

March 2015

Amarillo’s economic numbers look slightly better with slight increases in retail sales and workers employed. Construction and motel taxes are both up.

The household survey has revised numbers showing 126,000 people working, which is flat with 12 months ago. The employment survey shows an increase of 900 over that period with 600 in leisure and hospitality, and 600 in trade-in utilities, while education and health, manufacturing, and government all dropped. On a revised basis, Lubbock is up 2,400 from 12 months ago, and Midland/ Odessa is up 11,000.

Building permits are up from a year ago; although year to date down 20%. Housing starts have rebounded to 33 vs. 37 12 months ago even though mortgage rates are ½% above their lows last month.

The energy sector is showing a dramatic drop with only 25 rigs running vs. 71 last year. The price of oil is down 60% to $40.00 and natural gas is down 55% to $2.73, so producers and royalty owners are suffering big income declines.

Moisture is helping the winter wheat prospects although the price is lower than last year. Corn is also down about 14% in price and cotton is down 24%. Cattle are holding flat while milk prices are off 30% but both are still at profitable levels.

Airline boardings continue to be down, hurt by cuts in schedules and the bad weather. American has increased their schedule while Southwest has cut us back to only 3 flights during business hours. Luckily, motel tax is up 7% and other tourism and related employment remains strong.

Amarillo’s leading index has been moderately positive for the last 2 months; improving from 3 months of strongly negative readings. If our 4 month lag holds, it is forecasting a spring upturn.

 

March 2015Current MonthLast MonthLast Year

Index*

203.40

201.30

220.68

Sales Tax Collections

$5,143,577

$8,541,545

$5,060,168

Sales Tax Collection-YTD

$18,824,112

$8,541,545

$18,341,344

New Vehicle Sales

1,059

1,154

 970

Used Vehicle Sales

2,930

2,046

3,010

Vehicle Registrations (Stickers)

20,023

15,930

19,912

Airline Boardings

24,390

24,390

26,440

Hotel/Motel Receipt Tax

$426,996

$502,761

$399,620

Population - Corporate Amarillo

191,514

191,514

191,514

Employment - CLF

130,300

132,431

133,356

Unemployment Rate

3.30%

2.90%

4.20%

Total Workers Employed

126,000

128,592

127,763

Average Weekly Wages

$779.35

$736.25

$757.15

Gas

62,458

62,210

68,987

Water Connection

69,125

69,070

68,824

Interest Rates: 30 Year Mortgage Rates

4.00%

3.87%

4.63%

Building Permits Dollar Amount

$36,749,954

$50,383,858

$28,765,693

Year to Date Permits

$87,133,812

$50,383,858

$109,745,729

Residential Starts

33

21

37

Year To Date Starts

54

21

85

Median House Sold Price

$147,500

$141,000

$319,371

Drilling Rigs In Panhandle

25

41

71

Oil Price Per Barrel

$40.96

$41.71

$99.43

Natural Gas

$2.73

$2.99

$6.15

Wheat Per Bushel

$5.19

$5.48

$6.64

Fed Cattle Per CWT

$160.97

$161.00

$145.00

Corn Per Bushel

$4.06

$4.10

$4.73

Cotton (Cents Per Pound)

$58.60

$60.40

$76.70

Milk

$15.50

$15.75

$22.00

*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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