The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce 2012 Third Quarter Economic Report shows our local economy is doing very well in almost every sector.
On the global and national level, the report shows a negative decline in national export trade for the fall quarter, which has regional effects.
"Exporting is such a big part of the Texas Economy. When we drive past the production facilities and storage tanks of chemicals and so forth, we don't appreciate the dollar volume of those, and the contributions they make to the output of the U.S. and its impact in the world," said Travis Tullos, Economist for the Greater Chamber.
The most recent data shows that the U.S. has been cutting back on exports, which Tullos said currently puts us around a 2 to 3 percent growth rate, versus a 4.6 percent historical growth rate average.
"The net new job gains right now are running somewhat below, they're at about 1.895 million year over year, which doesn't compare that favorably with 2.5 million," said Tullos, "But for those who are really concerned about job creation and the impact that's having on personal incomes and so forth, things are coming along but not there yet."
At the regional level, the report indicates that 'Texas has the strongest economy in the country, profusely buoyed by the energy sector and related manufacturing expansion (pg. 4),' with the Texas business Cycle Leading Index returning to pre-recessional rapid statewide growth levels.
"San Antonio is second in terms of all of the objective metrics only to Houston. The relative strength of Houston is in the energy field, which makes such a strong contribution to manufacturing and other things that are activities there. So, San Antonio with an unlike economy is still running in a very strong way," said Tullos.
San Antonio sales tax revenues are setting a record trending pace of regional consumption. At 12.2 percent, San Antonio's sales tax revenues currently surpass the other Big Five Metro Markets in Texas (Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and Houston,) and show no sign of dropping anytime soon.
"And the reason is, that this is reflecting essentially an expansion of the economic base; in other words we're adding new parts to the economy all along, and for that reason we've got tremendous sales activity that reflect that," said Tullos.
The report shows that San Antonio is still experiencing job growth, and should continue to do so.
"Given the trend that we can see, we're are going to be back up pretty close to the 20,000 net new jobs year-over-year before we know it," said Tullos. "I would say probably by the late spring area we should be back to where we were when we were running on all four cylinders (post recession).
According to the report, the main industries experiencing job growth in San Antonio right now are natural resources and mining with a 10.3 percent increase, leisure and hospitality with a 7.7 percent increase, and construction with a 6 percent increase (pg.6).
The report also shows the commercial properties real estate market is doing well, as regional commercial property rental revenues have steady advances of 3.9 percent year after year, while 'the rented inventory trend has recovered to net year-to-year gains of 2,849,942 million square feet (pg.8).'
According to the report, 'several astute analysts believe that, before this year's congressional session ends, all parts of the looming fiscal cliff will be officially postponed (pg.4),' which Tullos says should leave these positive economic trends untouched for the meantime.
The report indicates that tax hikes on the top brackets, along with delays on sequestration will be delayed until the middle of next year, while the taming of debt and deficits could be postponed even longer.
The full report can be found here: http://www.sachamber.org/cwt/external/wcpages/publications/Economic_Reports.aspx.
By: Marissa A. Wagner
Thursday, November 29, 2012