April 12, 2018
Houston’s strong job-growth launch at the beginning of 2018, combined with growth in energy-related activity and imports, caused the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas to point to a continued positive Houston economic outlook. The Fed’s Houston Business-Cycle Index was 6% over three months ending in February 2018, with the measure likely experiencing “a significant post-hurricane-Harvey boost,” analysts noted.
Jobs throughout the metro grew at an annualized pace of 4.7% over the first two months of 2018, while year-over-year job growth stood at 2.3% in February. However, both wages and regional retail sales declined.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices are averaging just under $63 a barrel; the Dallas Fed notes that “this price is in the range (just over $60) to ‘substantially’ increase the rig count.” The U.S. rig count stood at 993 as of March 30, 2018, with recent prices likely meaning additional growth.
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