Overall business activity in Texas climbed to its best level since April 2010 in January, hitting 22.1 from December’s upwardly revised reading of 17.7. Economists had anticipated the gauge would slip to 15.0 from its initial December reading of 15.5.
The measure has held above zero, a sign of expansion, for four straight months after not registering a reading above zero since December 2014 as the oil-price crash wreaked havoc on the state’s economy.
The December reading saw a boost following the election of Donald Trump with a respondent last month noting, “We are looking forward to the end of the disastrous socialist policies of the last eight years,” one person said. And that enthusiasm surrounding Trump appeared to carry over into January as a respondent suggested, “We feel if the news of the new administration holds, we should be on an uptrend throughout the Trump presidency.”
However, not everyone was so sure that Trump’s policies would be good for business. One respondent said, “We expect President Trump’s policies towards NAFTA and Mexico will have a negative impact in the borderland in the next six months.”
And another noted, “President Trump looks to do things that will be favourable for business, which would improve employment and growth if successful. However, protesters are all over the place, so I tend to think that will cause trouble for the country and for business.”
According to the report, the index of future general business activity ticked up to 43.7.