The Texas economy had a rough start in 2015, with a sharp deceleration in growth from the end of 2014 to the beginning of 2015. Texas job growth expanded at a 0.8 percent annualized rate through April, down from 3.6 percent in 2014. A number of factors played a role in the sudden slowdown, but the decline in energy prices is foremost among them. Other adverse developments include the first-quarter slowdown in the U.S. economy, the strong U.S. dollar (which hurts Texas exports), the West Coast port strike that crippled Pacific trade (with implications for exporters and retailers in the Texas region), and adverse weather slowing construction activity and retail sales.
Compared with the weak first quarter, the regional economy is looking slightly better in the second quarter. An appropriate analogy might be that the dark clouds over the regional economy are breaking up just enough to let some rays of sunlight through.
Read more...Is the Worst Over? Regional Economy Sees Hopeful Signs - Dallas Fed