Texas Economy in Focus

Created Tuesday, 08 September 2009 19

Comptroller’s Economic Outlook

Updated September 4, 2009

The Texas economy, the world’s 11th-largest, continues to fare better than those of many other states. But Texas is feeling the effects of the worldwide recession.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. economy peaked in December 2007 and has been in recession since then. Although the Texas economy slowed with the nation’s late in 2008, Texas’ gross product expanded almost twice as fast as the U.S. economy (2.0 percent versus 1.1 percent) during calendar 2008.

Both the U.S. and Texas economies have contracted in 2009, but Texas continues to perform relatively better than the nation. The Comptroller’s office estimates that the Texas’ gross state product will contract by 1.7 percent during calendar 2009. The U.S. economy will shrink even more, by 2.8 percent for the year.

Jobs

  • Texas gained 37,900 jobs in July 2009, for its first month-to-month job increase since October 2008.
  • Texas’ July 2009 unemployment rate is 7.9 percent, up from 7.5 percent in June. The August U.S. rate is 9.7 percent, up from 9.4 percent in June.
  • The Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for 31 consecutive months.
  • The U.S. lost 5.8 million jobs from August 2008 to August 2009.
  • In the 12 months ending in July 2009, Texas lost 222,000 jobs. The year-to-year peak in jobs lost was 246,000 from June 2008 to June 2009.

Housing

  • Thus far, Texas has weathered the national real estate crunch without significant damage to property values but sales and construction activity have slowed. Despite its continuing resiliency, Texas is not immune from the national real estate crunch.
  • 6,915 building permits for single-family homes were issued in July 2009, reflecting a 5.9 percent drop from July 2008. The number of permits in the 12 months ending in July 2009 was 60,293, a decrease of 33 percent from the period one year earlier.
  • Multi-family building permits are also down, from 4,712 units in July 2008 to 554 units (the lowest monthly total this decade) in July 2009. The number of permits issued in the 12 months ending in July 2009 was 28,464, a decrease of 49 percent from the period one year earlier.
  • Sales of existing single-family homes in Texas have been declining since late 2006.  While those sales were down by 5 percent from July 2008 to July 2009, that was the smallest annual decline since mid-2007.
  • In Texas, the median price for existing single-family homes rose by 0.6 percent from July 2008 to July 2009.
  • The Texas foreclosure rate has remained largely stable for the last three years. Texas experienced 12,077 foreclosure filings in July 2009.
  • In July 2009, the Texas foreclosure rate was one in every 781 mortgages. This was substantially better than Nevada’s one in 56, California’s one in 123 and Florida’s one in 154.

Oil and Natural Gas

  • The all-time high crude oil closing price was $145.29 on July 3, 2008.
  • Crude oil futures closed at $67.96 per barrel on September 3, 2009, 38 percent below the level of one year ago but double this past winter’s lowest price of $33.98 in February.
  • In fiscal 2008, production tax collections for natural gas were up 42 percent over fiscal 2007. Tax collections for oil were up 72 percent.
  • Natural gas production tax collections for fiscal 2009 were down 48 percent over fiscal 2008; oil tax collections were 39 percent lower.

Taxes

  • Texas sales tax receipts for August 2009 were down 12.5 percent fromAugust 2008.
  • For fiscal 2009, state sales tax receipts are down 2.7 percent from fiscal 2008
  • Texas Motor vehicle sales tax collections for this month through Aug.5 are at $37.161 million, down 15.2 percent for the same time last year.
  • Mean average transaction prices for new cars declined by 7.2 percent from July 2008 to June 2009, to $23,695.
  • Nationally, auto leasing accounted for 21 percent of auto sales in July 2009, down from 24 percent in July 2008.
  • Congress has authorized an additional $2 billion for the “Cash for Clunkers” rebate to extend the program through Labor Day, which should fund an additional 500,000 new auto sales on top of the 250,000 already completed.

Stimulus Package

  • In Texas, an estimated $18 billion in federal stimulus money is flowing to state and local governments. The Comptroller’s office is tracking the $14.3 billion that comes through the state Treasury. The Comptroller’s analysis is ongoing. For the latest information, visit our ARRA Web site, A Texas Eye on the Dollars.

Consumer Confidence Index

  • Consumer confidence across the nation remains very weak. In July 2009, the U.S. index stood at 46.6 (with 1985 = 100). Texas and surrounding states fared better than the rest of the nation. Texas’ regional index fell to 73.3, down 8 percent for the year.

Link to Texas Comptrollers Website

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