Re­gional econ­omy ex­pands on ris­ing de­mand

Dal­las Fed re­ports Texas man­u­fac­tur­ers, en­ergy sec­tor grow­ing.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - By Dan Zehr dzehr@states­man.com Econ­omy

Wide­spread in­creases in de­mand and the con­tin­ued re­cov­ery of the Texas man­u­fac­tur­ing and en­ergy sec­tors fu­eled solid re­gional eco­nomic growth in re­cent weeks, ac­cord­ing to a re­port Wed­nes­day from the Fed­eral Re­serve Bank of Dal­las.

In its chap­ter of the Beige Book, an anec­do­tal sur­vey of the econ­omy com­piled ev­ery six weeks by the Fed­eral Re­serve banks, the Dal­las Fed said the eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in its dis­trict “ex­panded mod­er­ately” since the last re­port.

The Dal­las Fed’s dis­trict in­cludes all of Texas and parts of New Mexico and Louisiana. Texas ac­counts for more than 95 per­cent of the re­gion’s eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity.

While many con­tacts ex­pressed some lin­ger­ing un­cer­tain­ties — par­tic­u­larly around the im­pact of po­ten­tial pol­icy changes from the White House — out­looks on busi­ness con­di­tions gen­er­ally im­proved over the past six weeks, the re­port said.

Em­ploy­ment rose dur­ing the pe­riod, with rel­a­tively strong hir­ing by man­u­fac­tur­ers help­ing off­set some ret­i­cence to hire among re­tail­ers. En­ergy sec­tor con­tacts said most lay­offs are be­hind them, and some re­ported in­creased hir­ing.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing and con­struc­tion com­pa­nies said they con­tin­ued to have trou­ble find­ing skilled la­bor, and some restau­rants also noted a short­age of

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