Lubbock’s economy shows few signs of improvement, according to the Lubbock Economic Index. The May LEI fell to 122.6, down from April’s 122.7, and down nearly 2 percent from May 2010.

Lubbock National Bank says that the LEI has increased from one month to the next only twice within the past 12 months, and the index has settled at low levels unseen since early 2004.

Taxable retail spending is up, increasing by 2.3 percent from May 2010, and the year to date total is up by 3.7 percent from the same time in 2010.

Estimated payroll employment is up by .3 percent from May 2010, and the unemployment rate has not significantly improved from around 5.9 percent over the past year. Building permits have also declined about 37 percent compared with the first five months of 2010.

Economic hope is not bolstered by  the Lubbock Consumer Price Index for May, which has increased by 2.3 percent compared to one year ago.

This is a significant jump compared to the 1.7 percent rate of year-over-year increase in April.

The CPI is a measure of the average price change over time, and in Lubbock, it continues to climb higher in some important sectors such as food and health care prices.

The food/grocery sector of the CPI increased by 1 percent from last year, and the rate of increase in the energy/utilities sector increased to 3.5 percent in May, up slightly from April’s 3.4 percent. The same rate and increase was seen for the health care sector as well.