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Lubbock Economic Index Rises Slightly, Remains Sharply Down from 2008 Peak

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The Lubbock Economic Index for June has risen slightly.

The LEI climbed to 123.0, up from May’s 122.7, but still down from June 2010’s 124.9. The index has been negative compared to its year-ago level for 29 straight months, and still remains down just over 8 percent from the peak of September 2008’s 134.0.

Taxable retail spending for the second quarter of 2011 was up nearly 2 percent compared to the same quarter in 2010, and real spending is up about 3.3 percent compared to the first six months of last year. The June 2011 payroll estimate sharply increased 2 percent compared to one year ago, and the unemployment rate in June jumped from May’s 5.9 percent to 7.3 percent.

Some sectors have improved, with auto sales improving in the second quarter and spending on new and used automobiles raising about 9.3 percent compared to the first half of 2010. New single-family residential housing permits were also up by about 5 percent year-over-year, but new housing construction is still down about 20 percent compared to last year.

Other sectors continue to fall, as the second quarter building permit valuation total is the lowest 2nd quarter total since 1999, dropping over 18 percent compared to the same period last year. The existing home sales market posted a year-over-year decline in the second quarter of over 13 percent, making it the sixth straight quarterly year-over-year decline.

The June Lubbock Consumer Price Index increased by 2.5 percent compared to the same time last year, and up from May’s 2.3 percent. The CPI is a measure of the average price change over time, and jumped by 2 percent in June, compared to May’s 1 percent. The health care sector was unchanged from May to June at 3.5 percent, and the housing portion increased from May’s 2.2 percent to 2.3 percent.

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