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Houston Employment, Sales Growth Level Off

Houston economic activity slipped for the third month in a row, according to the latest survey by the Institute for Supply Management – Houston.


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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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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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