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Economic Analysis

May 2015

Much needed moisture arrived this month and should help out our area’s economy throughout the summer.

Retail sales this month were 5.5% higher than 2014 (Lubbock is up 8.5%). Year to date spending is up 3%. Wages are also up 3% and the job market remains moderately tight.

Jobs are still mixed. The Employers Survey shows gains of only 200 workers with gains in Transportation & Utilities and Trade & Transportation. Job losses hit manufacturing and Government. The Household Survey shows a drop of 1,600. In other Household Surveys, Lubbock is up 100 and Midland/Odessa is up 7,600.

Vehicle sales are mixed. New car sales are up 28% from last year, but used car sales are down 6%. Area auctions are reporting weaker used car prices.

Year to date Building permits are down from last year by 14% (roofs are down to 20% of the total). Residential starts are down 40% as growth has slowed; but existing home sales are up strongly pushing prices up 10% from 12 months ago.

The moisture has driven down the price of Ag commodities, but the prospects for a strong crop are better than any time in the last 5 years. Cotton prices are down 26%. Corn will need to be planted in the next 2 weeks and prices are also down 26%.

Wheat prices are down 31% and we are hearing reports that the recent rains might have been too late so the winter wheat crop will be a moderate boost to our area (see attached article “Panhandle Agricultural Survey”).

Area dairies are benefiting from the low input costs, but profit margins have shrunk from last year due to prices being down by 1/3 to $15.75.

Feedyards are less profitable even though Fat Cattle prices are up 10%. Feeder cattle are bringing in higher prices for area ranchers and the moisture will induce herd rebuilding.

The limp in Oil and Gas activity continues- there are only 19 drilling rigs in the Panhandle, down from 71 a year ago. Rigs are also being stacked in the Permian Basin and their count is down close to 80%.

Amarillo’s Leading Index is up 1% tracking 4 months of moderate increases after January’s drop. Since it has a 4 month lead, it forecasts continued upward moves through the summer. 

  

May 2015Current MonthLast MonthLast Year

Index*

 201.40

 198.60

 238.60

Sales Tax Collections

$6,318,355

$5,887,229

$5,935,795

Sales Tax Collection-YTD

$30,529,698

$24,711,342

$29,514,115

New Vehicle Sales

 1,448

 1,205

  1,134

Used Vehicle Sales

 3,306

 3,157

 3,509

Vehicle Registrations (Stickers)

 19,843

 19,317

 20,063

Airline Boardings

 26,550

 27,256

 30,306

Hotel/Motel Receipt Tax

$547,057

$384,435

$526,266

Population - Corporate Amarillo

 191,514

191,514

191,514

Employment - CLF

 129,938

 129,937

 133,502

Unemployment Rate

 2.70%

 3.80%

 3.30%

Total Workers Employed

 126,400

  126,100

 128,000

Average Weekly Wages

$779.35

$779.35

$757.15

Gas

 62,709

 62,583

 68,710

Water Connection

 69,186

 69,136

 69,106

Interest Rates: 30 Year Mortgage Rates

3.88%

 3.88%

 4.50%

Building Permits Dollar Amount

$48,206,900

$50,005,560

$55,802,736

Year to Date Permits

$185,347,873

$137,139,372

$209,919,917

Residential Starts

 34

 32

 57

Year To Date Starts

 120

 86

 184

Median House Sold Price

$154,000

$144,000

$140,000

Drilling Rigs In Panhandle

 19

 26

 66

Oil Price Per Barrel

$53.27

$43.57

$100.49

Natural Gas

$2.53

$2.73

$4.70

Wheat Per Bushel

$5.00

$5.16

$7.30

Fed Cattle Per CWT

$161.00

$162.00

$146.00

Corn Per Bushel

$4.00

$4.10

$5.40

Cotton (Cents Per Pound)

$59.90

$57.40

$80.70

Milk

$15.75

$16.00

$23.40

*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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