San Angelo Economy Remains Steady
The next round of numbers from the Chamber of Commerce’s Business Barometer are in, indicating substantial economic growth in November 2013 over the year prior.
The monthly report covers building permits, sales and use tax rebated, airport travel stats and housing rates for one month in 2013 as compared to the same month the previous year.
November last year was a prosperous one according to the report, which shows increases in all sectors with the exception of single-family homes being sold. Particularly successful were building permits, raking in a total of $4,730,200 for 24 new single-family residences, up four from November 2012 and bringing in an additional $1.7 million over the year prior.
Commercial and other building permits also fared well, bringing the total to 702 permits as compared to 2012’s 568 in the same month. As of November, the year-to-date total value of building permits were $142.7 million, $62 million more than in 2012.
The effects of permit issuance can be seen around town, as homes, apartment complexes, extended-stay hotels and businesses crop up on previously vacant lots, and many of these new establishments have been slated for opening later this year.
As San Angelo’s population grows and the city sees increased traffic from transients, other areas of business benefit from the ripple of the economic impact. Revenues from sales tax have been rising for the past three years hand in hand with consumer purchases, and that trend continued through September in October, according to reports.
Phil Neighbors, President of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce said in a November interview: “We’ve certainly been on a growth spurt for three years, and this particular report marks three straight years of sales tax increases, month-by-month in a row.”
The report Neighbors references pertains to numbers for August 2013, however review of the available data for September and October shows no change in the trend. Conversely, September saw a sudden spike when sales tax revenues jumped up to 19.33 percent—twice as high as they were in August—however October dropped off, while still keeping above the year prior at a 1.84 percent change.
“Whenever the economy’s good, the service sector also increases in employment and we’ve seen all of those sectors (including building) increasing in the past 2.5 years,” Neighbors said in a previous interview.
According to Neighbors, the tourism industry is tracked closely in San Angelo. Keeping track of visitors to the area and consumer traffic from out-of-towners enables the city to better conceptualize increases in local versus touristic purchasing.
Numbers from those that enplaned and deplaned in Mathis Field have also been trending upward, albeit gradually, which may be attributed to higher business traffic. The November 2013 report shows year-to-date an additional 3,148 people enplaned at Mathis, and an additional 5,908 deplaned in San Angelo over 2012.
With forecasts for the Cline Shale rosy, and a steady increase in all economic sectors since the onslaught of the energy boom, the strength of San Angelo’s economy may be presumed to remain stable.
“The business barometer continues to show increases in the areas that we measure, and generally it’s reflective of a very healthy economy here in San Angelo,” Neighbors said.