“Labor market indicators pointed to no growth in employment and a largely stable workweek,” said Jesus Cañas, Dallas Fed senior business economist. “Price pressures remained unchanged while wage growth eased slightly. Perceptions of broader business conditions continued to worsen in October, as pessimism notably increased.”
Key takeaways from the service sector survey:
- The revenue index fell eight points to 0.7, with the near-zero reading suggesting little change in activity from September.
- The employment index fell from 2.7 to 0.1, its lowest level in seven months.
- The input prices index was flat at 37.3 and the selling prices index remained steady at 9.5.
- The wages and benefits index fell two points to 17.0, approaching its average reading of 15.8.
- The general business activity index dropped from -8.6 to -18.2, its lowest level since December of last year, while the company outlook index fell to -12.8, its lowest level in 16 months.
Texas Retail Sales Decline
“Retail sales declined again in October while retail labor market indicators reflected a contraction in employment and workweeks,” Cañas said. “Retail labor market indicators reflected flat employment and workweeks. Retailers’ perceptions of broader business conditions were mixed.”
Key takeaways from the retail survey:
- The sales index fell from -4.4 to -18.1, marking its sixth consecutive month in negative territory.
- The employment index fell 13 points to -12.4 while the hours worked index fell from 0.6 to -12.1.
- The general business activity index dropped from -10.2 to -23.0.
The Dallas Fed conducts the survey monthly to obtain a timely assessment of activity in the state’s service sector, which represents almost 70 percent of the state’s economy and employs about 9.5 million workers.
For this month’s survey, Texas business executives were asked supplemental questions on credit conditions. Results for these questions from the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey, Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey and Texas Retail Outlook Survey have been released together.