Blazing construction numbers continue to push Lubbock Economic Index into record numbers
The construction and real estate sector of the Lubbock economy is still blazing hot, leading the Lubbock Economic Index to another record after June, 151.1 – up from 150.3 in May and a healthy bump up from 146.3 in June of last year.
The Index also expanded at a strong 7 percent annualized rate over the second quarter of 2017 and has been growing for 70 months (that’s almost six years).
“It’s good news,” said Chip Gilmour, Lubbock National Bank senior vice president.
There were a few areas of concern to monitor over the next few months – job growth has slowed, the Consumer Price Index has jumped a tad and oil continues to drop.
Here are Chip’s takeaways from the June report:
- Construction numbers continue to boggle the mind.
- Value of all construction permits:
June over previous June: 26.4 percent increase
Year to date: 20.4 percent increase
The quarterly total of construction permit value climbed above $300 million for the first time and was above $500 million halfway through the year for the first time.
- New home permits:
June over previous June: 14.9 percent increase
Year to date: 44.5 percent increase
The 750 permits issued for half the year is another record.
- Average home sales price:
June over previous June: 9.4 percent increase
Year to date: 3.1 percent increase
- Dollar volume of residential real estate sales:
June over previous June: 6.9 percent increase
Year to date: 1.2 percent decrease
- Number of home sales:
June over previous June: Flat
Year to date: 2.1 percent increase
- Retail sales increased 0.2 percent from June 2016 and up 0.8 percent year to date.
- “It seems like people have growing confidence in the economy and the stock market has done extremely well. This should affect spending habits with more confidence,” said Gilmour.
- Auto sales dipped 1.1 percent June over last June, but were still up 3.2 percent year to date.
- The jobless rate of 3.9 percent was fifth best in Texas and down from 4 percent a year ago – but up from 3.2 percent in May.
- Lubbock continues to add jobs – but the rate is slowing and not in the state’s top ten. Job growth was 1.8 percent, but slower than the first quarter (2.1 percent) and last year (2.5 percent). The area ranked 14th of 26 metro areas in Texas.
- A 2.4 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index was “higher than we’d like to see,” said Gilmour, who said Lubbock’s CPI is typically less than the national number. He said increases in energy, medical, housing boosted the number – especially as employers were seeing increases in healthcare costs.
Lubbock National Bank Senior Vice President Chip Gilmour briefs local media each month on the report.
To see the full report, click here
To see the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal story, click here