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Falling Oil Prices, Construction Volatility Ding Texas Economy In March

Economic indicators for Texas appeared to cool in March, according to the latest survey by Comerica Bank. But that's likely to be a small bump in the road.

Comerica Bank’s Texas Economic Activity Index fell by roughly a percentage point in March to a level of 104.2.

Robert Dye, Comerica Bank’s chief economist, says the decline was caused by volatility in building permits and a drop in the price of oil. But he says overall economic activity remains strong.

“The broadest indicators of that are just general nonfarm employment growth, and sales tax is also a very broad indicator. We’re seeing house prices going up across the state. That’s a very positive signal to homeowners, who are now building equity not only in their 401(k)s but also in their homes — very strong positive wealth effect — and that’s good news for the state economy.”

Dye says he expects the index to start climbing again soon, if not when the April numbers come out next month, then certainly by the time the May numbers become available.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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