Dallas Fed Economics: Texas Economy Improves as COVID-19 Cases Decline

(Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF) – Texas economic growth has picked up with the decline of new COVID-19 cases since July, but areas of weakness remain, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ latest Texas Economic Update.

“Despite broad, modest improvement, pockets of deep distress exist in parts of the services, retail and transportation sectors, as well as in the energy industry. In fact, small business failures may accelerate if the economy does not improve fast enough in coming months,” Dallas Fed Vice President, Pia Orrenius said.

The report showed that consumers have regained some confidence and are slowly and increasingly leaving home for shopping, work and travel, according to the report. However, mobility remains depressed relative to prepandemic levels, as is evident in the Texas Mobility and Engagement Index, which is up from its July low but still far below the January level. Additionally, Texas mobility remains below the U.S. average, although the gap has narrowed.

“Risks to the outlook are to the downside and include a possible resurgence of the virus and prolonged low oil prices. An upside risk is the arrival of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine although it might take a long time to be broadly disseminated and administered,” Orrenius said.

Continued growth in the Texas economy is projected for the rest of the year, but it according to the report, it could be somewhat restrained by the expiration of federal stimulus programs and election uncertainty.

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