Kinetics Houston Blog


GHP Houston Economy at a Glance - May 2018

Thanks to the Greater Houston Partnership for today's blog! Today, we dig into the GHP's Economy at a Glance for May 2018. Highlights of this month's report include:

Trade & Exports

  • Houston's newest engine of growth is in exports. In fact, exports have grown faster than the economy in general (7.3% compared to 2.9%)
  • Leading exports include petroleum products, basic chemicals, oil and gas extraction, agricultural, construction and mining machinery, and plastics and resins
  • Exports support 10.9% of total employment in Houston
  • Houston has been a magnet for foreign migration over the past 15 years - a large foreign-born population has helped facilitate trade between Houston and communities abroad
  • The buildup of Houston's export sectors has made the region less dependent on oil, but more vulnerable to shocks in the global economy such as a trade war, dramatic decline in immigration, or collapse in overseas financial markets
  • The GHP will address some of the risks to Houston at their 5th annual Global Houston Outlook, held at the Hyatt Regency Downtown

Oil - US crude prices topped $70 a barrel in May, a high not seen since November of 2014. A number of factors contributed to the rise:

  • US economy continues to grow - April marked the 97th consecutive month of net US job gains, GDP has grown 33 of the past 36 quarters, and the unemployment rate sits at 3.9%
  • Global economy continues to expand 
  • Global oil consumption continues to set records

Harvey Impact Begins to Fade

  • Job creation growth data suggests that Houston's 12-month growth peaked in February and has begun to trend down
  • This shift was expected, as Houston typically receives a short-term economic boost immediately following major hurricanes
  • Typically, a post-hurricane stimulus lasts half a year, then begins to wind down
  • Houston PMI, a leading indicator for regional growth sits at 56.6 for April. Readings above 50 indicate expansion over the next 3-4 months. This PMI is the highest since October of 2014

Key Economic Indicator Highlights 

  • Aviation - Houston Airport System handled .1% less passengers in the twelve months ending in March 2018 from the same time period in 2017. Of that, international passenger volume was down 2.8%, while domestic volume was up slightly
  • Home Sales - Houston's residential real estate market rebounded from a sluggish March with single-family home sales, average sales price, and number of pending sales all rose both in the month-to-month and year-to-year numbers. Total sales volume topped $26.6 billion for the 12 months ending in April 2018, a record for Houston. Foreclosures continue to trend downward and now make up less than 2% of all transactions
  • Rig Count - Baker Hughes reports 1,021 rigs working in the US during the last week of April, up 151 rigs (17.4%) for the same time frame in April of 2017. This upward trend has continues since early November 2017

View the full GHP Houston Economy at a Glance here! 




Tagged: houston economy, greater houston partnership, economy at a glance