Lubbock’s economic performance has reached pre-2008 recession levels. LEDA, the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, released January economic statistics yesterday. The Lubbock Economic Index in January was 131.6. The last time the Lubbock Economic Index reached that level was September 2008. Compared to January 2012, the Lubbock Economic Index increased 8.2 percent over year-to-year. Economic indicators such as auto sales, home sales, single-family housing construction permits all had significant gains.

In more detail, according to the report, auto sales in Lubbock continue to expand at a rapid pace with inflation-adjusted spending on new and used automobiles up by over 24% in January compared to January of a year ago, which in turn was up by over 15% compared to January of the prior year. It is also a record total for the month of January; that matters because the auto sales sector is still climbing its way back to its pre-recession peak level by every measure including the longer term averages, and is very close now to doing just that.

Construction in Lubbock per building permit valuations also improved compared to year-to-year . The estimated value of permitted project per January building permits was up by over 140% compared to January of a year ago. For the month of January, the $46.3 million in permits for January 2013 was second only to January 2008 in which over $59 million in permits were issued.