Randy Laycock & Chip Gilmour
Lubbock economy growth hits seven-year mark, boosted by retail sales, home sales, job growth, low jobless level, more
The Lubbock economy has now been growing for 84 months – that’s seven years – and is expected to keep growing through the end of 2018 and into 2019, according the latest numbers from the Lubbock National Bank Economic Index.
In August, the Index grew to a record 152.5.
“The Index has grown by more than 29 percent,” over the seven years, “averaging a very impressive 4.2 percent a year,” said Randy Laycock, LNB senior vice president of marketing, when he briefed local media at a press conference.
Highlights from the August numbers include:
- General spending growth is at its highest level since late 2015. “So it’s very, very good news people are spending money and keeping our economy going,” said Laycock.
- Home sales passed 3,000 for the year in August, the first time it passed that number in only eight months.
- Job growth is at the highest levels since late 2016.
- The Lubbock August unemployment rate of 3.2 percent is fifth best in Texas.
- Airline passenger boarding are at the highest level since 2012.
“The price of gasoline is going down finally … and that feeds into how people spend their money and that’s a good trend,” said Chip Gilmour, LNB vice president. “Also, unemployment nationally is down, the GDP is up. The economy is doing extremely well.”
So more details from August:
- Retail spending up 3.7 percent for the month over the previous August and up 1.8 percent year to date.
- Auto sales were down 1.6 percent August over the previous August and that could be affected by the Reagor-Dykes issues, but auto sales are still up 8.4 percent year to date.
- Value of construction permits was down 19 percent August over August and down 45.2 percent year to date when compared to record numbers in 2017.
- New home permits, dollar volume of residential real estate and, as mentioned before, home sales, were all up August over August.
- Oil per barrel dropped to 64.28 from 67.20 in July, which helped drop price at the pump.
- Cotton dropped to 78.75 cents from 82.18 in July – still up from 67.42 a year ago.
- The Lubbock Consumer Price Index remained at 2.4 percent in August – price increases in housing and energy costs were offset by flat to slightly declining prices for food/grocery items, medical care and miscellaneous goods and services.
Click here to see the full July and August reports
Click here to see Avalanche-Journal story