Amarillo’s economy flattened out last month, as construction, housing and job growth have slowed down.
Last month’s Building Permits are down 42% from a year ago. There were 33% less Housing Starts in Amarillo compared to 12 months ago, as 30-year mortgage rates are at 5.25%. A year ago they were 4.13%. House prices are up around 8%.
The Employer’s Survey shows an adjusted increase of just 300 jobs compared to a year ago. The Household Survey says we have gained 500 jobs. Average Weekly Wages are up 4% from last year. Amarillo’s unemployment rate is 2.7%, and all of West Texas has a tight labor market.
Lubbock’s Household Survey is up 2,500 jobs and Midland/Odessa is up 7,100 (Midland alone is 94% of this growth).
Amarillo’s Retail sales are still higher than last year by 3.8% year to date. Monthly comparison shows a growth of 4.2% from 12 months ago. Car Sales are mixed, with New Cars sold flat with a year ago and Used Cars sold down 4% from a year ago.
Good recent rains will do wonders for the winter wheat, but might be negative for the cotton harvest.
Wheat prices are up 26%. Cotton prices are up 7%. Corn prices are up 3.5%.
Dairies are having a better 2nd half of the year, with prices close to $15. Low input costs and good operations will make area Dairies profitable for 2018. Cattle prices are flat with a year ago. Breakeven prices are close to $1,800 per head, and unhedged cattle are losing money.
Drilling rigs in the Panhandle have doubled over the last year, as oil prices are up 55%. However, natural gas prices are flat, and over 2/3 of the royalty income in the Panhandle is gas.
*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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