LUBBOCK - Lubbock's Economic Index showed a slight increase in June, up to 145.5 from May's 145.3. The monthly index is also up 3.1 percent from its level of 141.1 in June 2014.
The increase is due to Lubbock's low unemployment rate at 3.8 percent and an increase in spending and building activity throughout the city, according to Lubbock National Bank officials.
Chip Gilmour, Lubbock National Bank senior vice president, said Lubbock's economy in 2015 should continue a trend of steady growth.
"Construction activity is extremely strong, and I would say construction activity is spectacular. In 2015, there have been $378.8 million worth of permits purchased, which sets an all-time record," Gilmour said.
Job growth has increased 1.6 percent from a year ago, and 2.2 percent over first quarter 2015.
"Since 2009, we've seen a steady growth in our economy," Gilmour said.
General spending is up about 3.5 percent, compared to the first six months of last year.
Dollars spent on retail sales in June equaled about $225.1 million, which is almost $5.6 million more than the same month last year.
Auto sales is the only section in the economy that has had a slight decrease. Automobile sales are down about 2 percent.
Single-family housing construction permits are down just a little bit for the month of June.
Permits decreased about 7.9 percent compared to June 2014, but Gilmour said for the quarter, single-family housing permits are up 11 percent, even with June's decrease.
The number of cotton bales for the crop year ginned through the end of June is up 31 percent compared to a year ago.
Cotton prices are down about 19.5 percent compared to June 2014, which had prices at $76.35 — about $15 more than the June 2015 price.
Oil prices in June were down 44.7 percent at $56.24 per barrel compared to the $101.68 per barrel price in June 2014.
The rig count in June was also down 71.1 percent compared to last year in June. There were 11 rigs this June and 38 last year in the same month.
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