West Texas economies continue setting recordsWest Texas economies continue setting recordshttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=220162019-02-22T06:00:00Z2019-02-26T00:00:00Z

​​​​MIDLAND, ODESSA – The West Texas economies remained in expansion mode as 2018 came to an end, with consumer spending and housing construction hitting record highs, according to Karr Ingraham’s Midland-Odessa Regional Economic Index.

The index ended the year up 16.9 percent compared with the end of 2017. It was the 26th consecutive monthly increase that has seen the index climb 37 percent.

Retail spending reached record levels, climbing 35 percent in 2018 compared with the previous year.

The unemployment rate dropped 28.3 percent to an average 2.5 percent in 2018, down from 3.5 percent in 2017. Employment rose 6.7 percent to average 177,835, up from 166,600 in 2017.

Construction activity continued a rapid recovery in 2018, with building permits rising 37.6 percent to total $963.2 million, compared with $699.9 million in 2017. It was the third-highest total in the history of the index, behind 2013 and 2014.

New housing set records across the board. Housing permits for the year exceeded 2017 totals of 1,330 by 33.7 percent, totaling 1,778. In Midland, home sales rose 1.2 percent to 2,808 from 2,774.

Odessa's housing market was significantly stronger with 1,713 homes sold in 2018, up 29.2 percent from 1,326.​

Midland Reporter-Telegram
https://www.mrt.com/business/article/Midland-Odessa-economies-continue-setting-records-13631997.phpSee the full report at the {Source}

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