The economy in Lubbock continues to improve.

The Lubbock Economic Index jumped to 130.3 for November 2012, up from October’s 128.8, and way up from November 2011’s LEI of 121.5.

The boost comes from improvement in general spending, auto spending, construction, and housing, powering the LEI to be within one percent of its peak of 131.6, which was reached in September 2008.

Despite the economic improvements, payroll employment turned negative in late 2012, though the unemployment rate continues to decrease.

Total employment within the city of Lubbock dipped around 1.5 percent for November 2012, which Lubbock National Bank estimates is a decrease of around 2,000 jobs from November of 2011.

Construction is doing well in Lubbock, and November 2012 posted a $38 million in building project valuations, up 136 percent from November 2011.

The residential real estate market also shows improvements, with housing sales for November 2012 up by around 44 percent compared with November 2011. Housing sales are also up by nearly 18 percent for the year-to-date, posting the best sales numbers in about three years.

The Lubbock Consumer Price index, which shows average price change over time, is also on the decline, showing that inflation is fairly low in the Hub City.

Lubbock’s CPI dropped to 2.6 percent for November 2012, down from October’s 2.7 percent.

Food prices are also reportedly dropping, as the food/grocery sector of the CPI has dropped to 2.2 percent for November 2012, down from October’s 2.6 percent.

Housing costs have risen slightly, with the housing portion of the Lubbock CPI climbing to 3.1 percent for November 2012, up from October’s 2.9 percent. The rate of year-over-year price increase for the energy/utilities sector remained steady from October to November 2012 at 2.5 percent.

The complete Lubbock Economic Index and Consumer Price Index release is available here.