Austin's Economy: Recession Over, Recovery Began in August

The recession is over in Austin, Texas according to the Adversity Index a tool created by msnbc and Moody’s to measure and track the recession on both the State and Metro Area levels.  The index considers an area in “recovery” when the economy is growing from six months earlier.  Areas are judged to be either in recession, recovering from recession, or expanding.  February of 2009 is when the recession started in Austin (click to get Moody’s current Austin data) according to Moody’s

The Adversity Index examines four (4) key elements – jobs, investment, industrial output and wealth.  The theory is that tracking these elements can indicate a trend of economic activity in an area.  The elements were chosen because they are both readily available and are updated frequently.

Job data is examined by looking at U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly payroll employment figures.  Investments numbers come from a look at Housing Starts compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau (which releases monthly single family housing permit data).  Industrial Production data is taken from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis monthly production numbers.  Wealth is measured via the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Prices data.

In the State of Texas, seven (7) of the twenty-six (26) metro areas including: Austin-Round Rock, Brownsville-Harlingen, Dallas-Plano-Irving, El Paso, Lubbock, McAllen-Edinburg-Pharr, and San Antonio are deemed to be in Recovery and out of Recession.

384 metro areas are being tracked nationally, and   79 are deemed to be in recovery, 270 areas are in a moderating recession (not contracting as severely as before) and 35 metropolitan areas remain in fully blown recession.

“The initial recoery is going to be slow,” said economist Andrew Gledhill of Moody’s  “Jobs are still being lost, but in terms of manufacturing production, the economy is finally beginning to emerge from the cellar.”

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