Survey shows 25% of Texas businesses say extreme heat negatively impacted revenue and productivity this summer

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas asked about 350 businesses if they felt the impact of the summer heat, and about 25% said they felt a negative impact.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The sweaty summer temperatures are causing the local economy to feel the heat.

A survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas showed that about a quarter of Texas businesses said the hot weather has negatively impacted their revenue and production this summer.

"We heard back from about 350 businesses and about a quarter of them said that they were negatively impacted by this recent heat wave," said Emily Kerr, a senior business economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

She said the extreme heat prompted them to get a better understanding of how the triple-digit weather was impacting business in the region.

In mid-August they put out the survey after hearing from businesses about the problems they were having. They haven't asked the specific questions in the past, and this will be their first benchmark to use as a comparison in the future.

“Leisure and hospitality were hit hardest, but also retail, and then manufacturing as well," explained Kerr. "And for leisure and hospitality and retail, the driving factor was lower customer demands, you know, people don't snap getting out in the heat as much those businesses rely much more on foot traffic and people coming into their establishments."

She said regarding manufacturing, it had to do with productivity.

"You know, some of these factories have temperature-sensitive worksites and the heat just made it really hard for them to keep up with business, with the temperatures being at what they were," said Kerr.

While some industries thrive during the hot months, others don't and it can contribute to major losses.

"Obviously, if you if you're in the business of selling air conditioners or repairing air conditioners, or selling utilities, you probably win. If you're in a lot of other businesses, though, obviously it has an adverse effect," said Ray Perryman, president of Perryman Group.

For more than 40 years, the economic research firm has analyzed various phenomena including weather events.

"It's not just that we're hot, It's not just that we're uncomfortable when we go outside. It really is something that permeates the entire economy," said Perryman about the extreme heat over the last few weeks.

“It's impacting every aspect of the economy, some positive, some negative. Obviously, you know, the productivity of people. People can't work because many hours, people have to take more breaks. It impacts the amount of power we use, that impacts the cost that goes through virtually every business out there. It impacts the amount of water we use, crop cycles, all kinds of things are impacted," said Perryman.

He said it could contribute to a billion-dollar loss in the Texas economy.

"If the average temperature we saw the first half of the summer continues above normal the same way it did for the rest of summer, we think Texas business on a net basis, would lose about $10 billion," said Perryman.

Based on his firm's research, he said if the extreme heat continues over the years, it could impact the Texas economy by $400 billion.

"So hopefully it's one of those sort of canary in the coal mine sort of things if that makes us more aware of things and makes us start taking some of the steps to improve the situation over time," said Perryman.

Contact Us