NEW YORK - Texas service sector activity increased in January, according to business executives responding to the Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey. The revenue index, a key measure of state service sector conditions, rose from 9.8 to 13.7, with 32 percent of respondents noting revenue increased from December.

Labor market indicators reflect stronger hiring and slightly longer workweeks. The employment index moved up from 8.8 to 12.4, its best reading in 10 months. The hours worked index edged down to 1.6 in January, suggesting hours worked rose more slowly in January.

Perceptions of general business conditions improved markedly in January. The general business activity index jumped to 18.3, its best reading since December 2010. The company outlook index moved up to 16.9 in January, its fifth consecutive month in positive territory, with 26 percent of respondents reporting their outlooks improved from last month.

Selling prices rose at a faster clip in January while wage pressures held steady. The selling prices index moved up from 2.1 to 8.7. The wages and benefits index was largely unchanged at 13.9, as the great majority of respondents continued to report no change in labor costs.

Indexes of future service sector activity generally improved from last month, and expectations regarding future business conditions were more optimistic. The index of future general business activity advanced from 18.7 to 22.8 in January, its best reading since February 2011, and the index of future company outlook also moved further into positive territory.

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