Texas economic success depends upon you

Robert Pratt photo Copyright Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt

Retail sales climbed in November, according to business executives responding to the Texas Retail Outlook Survey executed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The report indicates inventories increased at a slower pace than last month; labor market measures indicated slower retail employment growth and slightly longer workweeks, and; retailers’ perceptions of broader economic conditions reflected more optimism in November.

There is little surprise that increased competition has raised price pressures on retailers too but oddly at a time of record employment in Texas the report indicated wage pressures eased this month.

One thing I’m often reminded of is that broad trends do not ensure the specific, meaning that while overall things are doing well many specific businesses may not be enjoying robust positive performance.

When the general market is growing locally but one’s own business is suffering, it always means that it is time for arm’s-length and dispassionate evaluation. Sadly this doesn’t get done in most cases until it is too late for a small business to adapt and survive.

In Texas, due to the sales tax method of funding, a robust retail economy helps both the private and public sectors and for many retailers, the fourth quarter of the year is when they make all of the profit that funds the other three.

We see the same thing with government when voters can clearly see the trend of out of control spending and increasing debt but choose to ignore such like a slot machine addict who is convinced that things will turn around without a change in behavior and thus keeps putting in the money and pulling the lever.

If not crushed by the direct spending, eventually the debt service portion of public spending significantly freezes out spending for immediate needs.

In Texas, due to the sales tax method of funding, a robust retail economy helps both the private and public sectors and for many retailers, the fourth quarter of the year is when they make all of the profit that funds the other three.

This Christmas season I encourage you to get out and spend only what you can afford but spend it with our sponsors, advertisers, and other businesses that make our local economies work.

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