The Houston Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a short-term leading indicator for regional economic activity, registered 51.1 in October, down from 53.5 in September, and the lowest reading since October ’17 during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Readings above 50 signal expansion in the overall economy. The region’s PMI has signaled expansion in overall economic activity for 39 consecutive months. In contrast, the national manufacturing PMI has trended downward since March and currently stands at 48.3.
The Houston PMI is derived from monthly surveys of local purchasing managers representing various industries. The three underlying components of the PMI with the strongest correlation to economic activity, sales/new orders, employment, and lead times, all showed expansion in October. On an industry-specific basis, health care; transportation and utilities; and construction reported expansion, while oil and gas and manufacturing indicated contraction.
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research