Amarillo’s economy continues strong, led by sharp increases in retail sales, motel occupancy and workers employed. Construction is flattening out to a good strong level. Our commodity prices have fallen for the month, but much higher than last year.
Retail Sales were up a strong 19% from 12 months ago and 26% from two years ago. YTD increases 13% and continues to be led by stimulus money, higher incomes and inflation in the cost of goods. Used Vehicle Sales were up 7%, while New Sales were down 8%, due to the shortage of inventory.
Travel continues to be good, with motel collections up 31% from last year’s high level, reflecting a strong 4th quarter. Airline Boardings are up from last year, but still below two years ago.
3,500 more people are working based on the Household Survey and 4,400 more in the Employer’s Survey. The Labor Force is up 3% or 2,700. The job market remains tight and upward pressure on wages continue.
Housing is strong, with mortgage rates flat over last month and up only half of a percent from last year. Residential Starts have flattened out at about 39, although the YTD number is down 36%. House prices are holding at the levels, after the jump over the last year. Commercial Construction has slowed, but work in progress continues on several large projects, as that area stays fully employed.
Energy continues strong, even though prices are down 13% for Oil and 22% for Natural Gas from last month, but both are up almost 50% from a year ago. Drilling rigs in the Panhandle spurted to 9 from 3 last month and zero a year ago.
Farm income remains strong, with good yields on Fall crops and prices up 30-40% from commodities. Lack of moisture in the last three months remains a concern. Fat Cattle prices are up 26%, while packer margins increase greatly, resulting in much higher prices in the grocery stores. Milk is up 13% from a year ago and back to profitable levels.
Our Economic Forecast will be out within two weeks, reflecting the large bounce back this year, with hopes it continues into 2022.
*Base-100, January 1988
This document was prepared by Amarillo National Bank on behalf of itself for distribution in Amarillo, Texas and is provided for informational purposes only. The information, opinions, estimates and forecasts contained herein relate to specific dates and are subject to change without notice due to market and other fluctuations. The information, opinions, estimates and forecasts contained in this document have been gathered or obtained from public sources believed to be accurate, complete and/or correct. The information and observations contained herein are solely statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, sell or make any other investment decisions.
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