Comptrollerís Economic Outlook

Comptroller Susan Combs

Updated October 12, 2012

Job growth, sales tax collections ó both from business and consumer purchases ó as well as automobile sales, signal that the Texas economy has emerged from the recent recession.

Another indicator that the stateís economy has been comparatively healthy was the U.S. Census Bureau report that Texas added more people (421,000) than any other state from 2010 to 2011.  Although Texas has only 8 percent of the nationís population, the state added nearly 19 percent of the nationís population growth for the year.

By December 2011, Texas employers replaced all 427,600 jobs shed during the recession as our economy rebounded more quickly than the U.S. as a whole, and continues to add jobs. Nationally, through August 2012 only 48 percent of recession-hit jobs have been recovered.

Texas and the nation returned to economic growth in 2010 and 2011.  In 2011, Texas real gross domestic product grew by 2.4 percent, compared with 1.6 percent GDP growth for the nation.


  • The U.S. added 114,000 nonfarm jobs in September 2012. The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.8 percent for September 2012, down from 8.1 percent in August. Between September 2011 and September 2012, U.S. total nonfarm employment increased 1.4 percent.
  • Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 38,000 jobs during August 2012. Between August 2011 and August 2012, Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 2.5 percent.
  • The Texas unemployment rate was 7.1 percent for August 2012.
  • The Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for 68 consecutive months.


  • Thus far, Texas has weathered the national real estate crunch without significant damage to property values.
  • A total of 7,115 building permits for single-family homes were issued in August 2012. In the 12 months ending in August 2012, a total of 70,980 permits were issued, 19 percent more than in the previous year.
  • There were 6,261 multi-family building permits issued in August 2012. During the 12 months ending in August 2012, a total of 46,742 permits were issued, 73 percent more than in the previous year.
  • In August 2012, there were 24,769 sales of existing single-family homes, an increase of 8 percent over the previous month but 17 percent more than in August 2011.
  • The median sale price for an existing single-family home was $161,100 in August 2012, 5 percent higher than a year ago.
  • In August 2012, the Texas home foreclosure rate was one in every 1,203 mortgages.
  • This was substantially better than Florida's one in 328, California's one in 340, Arizona's one in 360, and Georgia's one in 431.

Consumer Confidence Index

  • The U.S. consumer confidence index was 70.3 in September 2012, up from 61.3 in August 2012.
  • The Texas regionís consumer confidence index was 77.8 in September 2012, up 4 percent from August 2012, and 12 percent higher than one year ago.

Oil and Natural Gas

  • Oil and natural gas production tax collections for fiscal 2012 were 41 percent higher than collections during 2011.
  • After reaching a record high closing price of $145.29 per barrel in July 2008 then falling to a low of $33.98 during February 2009, crude oil futures reached a settle price of $92.07 on Oct. 11, 2012.
  • Natural gas futures prices reached a summer 2008 high of $13.58 per MMBtu then fell to a low of $2.51 in September 2009. Subsequently, the price rebounded through the end of 2009 but has trended downward since then, closing at $3.60 on Oct. 11, 2012.


  • Texas state sales tax receipts for September 2012 were 11.6 percent higher than for September 2011.
  • Fiscal 2012 state sales tax receipts were 12.6 percent higher than for fiscal 2011, following a 9.4 percent increase in fiscal 2011.
  • Sales tax collections have increased for 30 consecutive months (year-over-year), boosted by strong business spending in the oil/natural gas and manufacturing sectors, and to a lesser extent by retail sales activity.
  • Texas motor vehicle sales and rental tax collections for September 2012 were up 11.6 percent from September 2011.
  • The nationwide average core transaction price for a new car or truck during the first 15 days of August 2012 rose 7.8 percent to $32,181 from the first 15 days of August 2011.
  • For the first 15 days of August 2012, total national new auto sales were 469,750 units, up 11.6 percent compared to first 15 days of August 2011.
  • Nationally, leases accounted for 27.2 percent of all new vehicle sales for the first 15 days of August 2012, an increase of 7.4 percent from the first 15 days of August 2011.

Stimulus Package

  • In Texas, an estimated $18 billion in federal stimulus money is flowing to state and local governments. The Comptrollerís office is tracking the $14.3 billion that comes through the state Treasury. The Comptrollerís analysis is ongoing. For the latest information, visit our ARRA Web site, A Texas Eye on the Dollars.

(The above information was taken from TexasAhead website)