April 10, 2018
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Austin Business Cycle Index grew at its fastest pace since late 2015, leading to economic activity acceleration during February 2018. Strong employment growth, combined with robust housing growth and continued low unemployment all contributed to the index’s 8.7% increase.
Dallas Fed analysts noted that a job growth topping more than 7% in January and February “was a significant boost to the index.” Unemployment, in the meantime, was at 3%. While up from the 2.7% in October 2017, analysts indicated the increase was due to a surge in the local labor force, which grew at an 8.6% annualized rate in the first two months of 2018. Austin jobs, in the meantime, increased at a 6.4% annualized rate over three months through February.
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