An index compiled by Moody's Economy.com and msnbc.com studied the 50 states as a whole and 381 metro areas, including Abilene, and measured their employment, housing starts, housing prices and industrial production in order to determine how close each area is to falling into recession.
The staff at Moody's Economy.com went back to apply its formula to data for every month beginning in January 1994. The study found nine out of 10 metro areas are already in the recession category. Abilene, however, is not. Employment was up .23 percent in January. Industrial production saw a steep 6.77 percent drop.
Housing starts and housing prices were used as a measure of investment and wealth, respectively. Metro Abilene saw 122 housing starts in January 2009. Data was not available for housing prices in January, but in December 2008 housing prices were up 3.21 percent.
All Texas metro areas except Larado are in or at risk for a recession, according to the index.