The Houston Purchasing Managers Index registered 57.1 in July, the same as in May and June. The plateau follows a three-month decline in regional economic activity.
Employment stood out as one of the strongest of the survey’s eight economic indicators. More than 80% of respondents said they either kept hiring at the same rate as in June or cranked up the pace. Purchased and finished goods inventories both dropped, indicating a rise in consumption.
On the down side, July saw a steep increase in the prices local businesses had to pay for major purchases. Mike Valant is business survey chair with the Institute of Supply Management — Houston.
“Gasoline and fuel have gone up to the industries. And other expenses I know I’ve seen, some of my comments [from respondents] were steel were up, and by the way salaries are very up.”
The PMI has a range of 0 to 100, with readings over 50 pointing to near-term production gains.