Houston Employment, Sales Growth Level Off

The Houston Purchasing Managers Index dropped to 57.1 in May, down a point from April.

Mike Valant is business survey chair with the Institute of Supply Management -- Houston.  Valant says the index points to a stabilizing of the region’s economy rather than an outright decline. He says employment, which took the steepest drop among the survey’s indicators, provides a prime example.

“Sixty percent remain the same, while only 14% reduced staff, and 26% are still increasing. So it’s not a negative, it’s just kind of stabilized at a plateau.”

The survey indicated a similar leveling off of sales, with orders dropping off for oil and gas as well as for manufactured goods.

“But the household comment is the last three years is a dramatic increase, so everybody seems to be saying we kind of plateaued here at a higher level than what we’ve have been in the past.”

The PMI indicates likely shifts in production three or four months in advance. It has a range of 0 to 100, with readings over 50 pointing to near-term production gains.



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