Houston Economy Cooled In December

The Houston Purchasing Managers Index cooled to 57.8 in December, its lowest reading in more than a year. Mike Valant is survey chairman with the Institute of Supply Management – Houston.

“I expect to see, probably, a rebound come January.”

Major factors weighting the index down were steep declines in purchases and in prices paid. The latter appears related to the euro zone debt crisis. By contrast, employment remained buoyant.

“27% of the people right now are saying they’re adding people. That’s good. 70% are still the same, and that total is 97% of the people [for whom] the employment is still the same or up from last month. That’s not bad considering there are a lot of jobs created in December that are seasonal.”

The PMI has a range of 0 to 100, with readings over 50 pointing to near term production gains. Economic activity in the Houston area has been positive for the last 26 months.

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