February marked the second month of solid growth for the index, which leveled off at the end of 2011. Five of the index’s seven components rose, according to Robert Dye, chief economist for Comerica Bank.
“Hotel occupancy did dip a little bit, but we expect to see some fluctuations there, and housing permits did dip as well, and perhaps that is weather related. But five other components, including jobs and taxes, state exports, things like that, increased. So, another solid month here for the State of Texas.”
Dye says there are a few risk factors to watch out for. Defense spending cuts and a potential buyout of the bankrupt American Airlines by US Airways could cost the state jobs. Low natural gas prices are starting to weigh on drilling activity. But he expects the Texas economy as a whole to remain strong.
Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index