Service sector in U.S. Texas flat in January: survey

By Gao Lu

HOUSTON, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- The service sector in the U.S. state of Texas was roughly flat in January, the latest report from the Federal Reserve of Dallas said on Tuesday.

According to business executives responding to the Dallas Fed's Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey, activity in the Texas service sector was roughly flat in January. "The revenue index, a key measure of state service sector conditions, fell from 5.5 in December to 0.8 in January, indicating a flattening out of activity," according to the report released on Tuesday.

The survey also found that the state's labor market indicators pointed to slower employment growth and little change in the hours worked in January. The employment index declined while the part-time employment index was mostly unchanged. The hours worked index was similarly flat.

Perceptions of broader business conditions held steady compared with December. The general business activity index was roughly unchanged while the company outlook index dipped slightly. The outlook uncertainty index rose slightly, the report said.

The survey noticed that respondents' expectations regarding future business activity were slightly less optimistic compared with December. The future general business activity index fell two points to 23.2, while the future revenue index slipped nearly four points to 38.2, though still well above its 2020 average.

The survey takes the pulse of executives in the service industry in Texas, including retail, hospitality, professional and technical services and other businesses. The service sector accounts for nearly 70 percent of the state's economy and employs about 8.6 million workers, according to the Dallas Fed.

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