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  • Houston Economy at a Glance - January 2018

    January 11, 2018
    Report by Greater Houston Partnership 

    Please see below a copy of Economy at a Glance – Houston (The January publication of the Greater Houston Partnership).

    - The Partnership’s employment forecast for this year calls for the region to create approximately 45,500  jobs. Growth will be driven primarily by the strength of the U.S. and global economies and Houston’s links to them.
    - Global trade is important to Houston because the region’s international ties are as strong as its domestic  ties.
    - Metro Houston ranks second only to New York in value of exports.
    - Nearly 5,000 Houston-area companies are engaged in global commerce.
    - Global trade supports nearly 450,000 jobs in the re-gion.
    - The Port of Houston ranks first in the U.S. in foreign tonnage.
    - Many of Houston’s public companies derive a significant portion of their revenues from their overseas    operations.
    - The Partnership’s forecast calls for job growth in 14 sectors: oil field services, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, finance and insurance, real estate, business, professional and technical services, educational services, health care, administrative services, arts and entertainment, accommodation and food services, other services, and government. Job losses will continue in two sectors: construction and information. Employment growth will be flat in upstream energy.
    - Houston’s office market finished ’17 with 2.0 million square feet of negative absorption, according to CBRE.
    - Office construction remains subdued, with only 1.6 million to 2.2 million square feet under construction.
    - The industrial market fared better, absorbing 7.0 million square feet of space, according to CBRE.
    - The retail sector absorbed 2.0 million square feet of space in ’17, well below the 4.0 million absorbed in ’16 but above the 10-year average, reports CBRE.
    - The market currently has a 3.9-month supply of resale homes, meaning the number of months it would take to deplete current active inventory for the single-family market based on the prior 12 months’ sales activity. The typical home is on the market 55 days before closing, notes the firm. The 10-year average is 47 days. Currently, about 12 percent of all closings are above list price. The 10-year average is 15 percent.
    - Oil prices continue to trend upward. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for light, sweet crude, aver-aged $55.26 per barrel in Q4/17, up 12.4 percent from $49.14 in Q4/16. 
    - Baker Hughes reports 924 drilling rigs were working in the U.S. during the first week of January. That’s up 259 rigs, or 38.9 percent, from the 665 in early January last year. The rig count peaked at 958 in late July, then briefly declined, but has trended upward since early November.

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