Houston Economy Closes Out 2016 With Another Positive Business Report

The Purchasing Managers Index indicates expansion for the third month in a row in December.


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Downtown Houston
The Houston Purchasing Managers Index rose 0.2 points to 50.7 in December. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion in the near term.

In December, the monthly Purchasing Managers Index gave Houston its third positive report in a row – meaning the local economy continues on a path to expansion.

It's a survey of supply chain leaders and measures economic activity in the city's major industries based on eight indicators – such as employment, sales and production.

"We're seeing fairly significant strengthening in most of the underlying industries, particularly oil and gas," said Ross Harvison, who compiles the report for the Institute for Supply Management.

The index had shown contraction for 21 months until October, when it rose above the neutral level.

Harvison believes Houston will continue to see modest growth in 2017, "unless we see major impacts on oil prices and we see oil prices fall, but I think most economists believe that a $50 to $60 a barrel oil range is reasonable near-term."

He said he's closely watching the healthcare sector, which is growing but not at the strength it was a few years ago.


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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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