Houston Job Losses Ease In October, But Production And Sales Fall Faster

The region’s economy registered its tenth monthly decline in a row, according to the latest survey of supply chain managers.


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Houston's economy weakened again in October, as measured by the Houston Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). It marked the tenth month in a row local economic activity has contracted.

Ross Harvison, president of ISM-Houston, says the pace of job losses is slowing down, but that by other measures, the region's economy is getting worse.

"On the sales, production, and purchases side, we did see further erosion in those numbers," he says.

Most of the decline is coming in businesses tied to oil exploration and production. That's bleeding over into durable goods manufacturing and wholesale trade as well.

"If you look at the other areas," Harvison says, "we are seeing more strength. Certainly construction, on a standalone basis, is slightly above neutral. Healthcare continues to be a very strong sector for us."

The Houston PMI registered 48 percent in October. The index has a range of 0 to 100. Readings below 50 generally indicate production will contract in the near future.

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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 Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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