Business

Contracting Houston Economy Is On Upward Trend

Houston’s economy is contracting for the 21st month in a row, according to September’s Purchasing Managing Index.

PMI chart
The Houston PMI is moving toward expansion.

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Houston’s economy is still in contraction but it is steadily improving.

That’s what the Houston Purchasing Managers Index, which measures economic activity based on eight indicators, suggests.

"We trended up over the last two, three, four months," said Ross Harvison, with the Institute for Supply Management and creator of the index. "And right now everything we're hearing from our respondents is positive, that they anticipate we'll continue to see the trend up."

The index measures, among others, sales, purchases, production and employment in different sectors like oil and gas, construction, manufacturing and healthcare. Harvison created it based on self-reporting by area supply chain leaders.

After rising 2.3 points in August, the index rose again last month, by 2.4 points to 48.5. Readings above 50 generally indicate economic expansion within the next few months.

Harvison said most sectors are improving, including oil and gas.

"Durable goods manufacturing that supports oil and gas, the services that support oil and gas and then the midstream operations are all moving towards neutral," he said, attributing this to the stabilization of the price of oil.

Healthcare remains the strongest sector in Houston and the only one that is already expanding, albeit moderately.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is the News 88.7 business reporter and also covers criminal justice, guns and shootings.Florian's stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of...

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