Houston to see moderate growth as economy returns to oil basics, local forecaster says

Bill Gilmer, director of Houston's Bower University Regional Predictions Institute, said the Houston economy is entering a period of slow and sustained growth, fueled by $ 100 a barrel of oil and its subsequent rapid expansion. business.

Gilmer said in an economic forecast released in Houston Thursday, “We went back to Houston's foundations, oil and the US economy. "This was calculated for decades in Houston."

He said local economies are following a gentle growth trend across the country and steady progress will be made as oil prices stabilize.

"This was a great year for Houston this year," Gilmer said. "This reverts to the long-term growth path we've enjoyed for a long time."

Gilmer predicted that the region would add 60,000 jobs annually from 2019 to 2023.

Houston and the energy sector have recovered from the recession, but in the oil boom of 2014, all the jobs the city has are unlikely to come back, he said. Houston's economy lost about 75,000 jobs as oil prices plummeted in 2015 and 2016. Gilmer said that only one third of this is back.

Oil prices are likely to remain between $ 50 and $ 60 per barrel, said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a leading Saudi Arabia-led international oil cartel, said it is pursuing a new strategy to slow US Fraking activity. American power in the world oil market.

"We've been through a long soap opera after hearing the OPEC announcement," Gilmer said. "OPEC believes that we can slow (crushing activity) to get less US oil in the world."

OPEC struggled to keep oil prices within the $ 50-60 range due to political power struggles and economic crises, where US sanctions against Venezuela and Iran's oil exports are expected to consume millions of barrels a day.

Meanwhile, US oil producers continued to drill through wells, but left unfinished in the Permian basin to increase pipeline capacity and wait for their products to come to market. Gilmer expects that this barrel will be available in late 2019 or early 2020. This will increase the world's dependence on US oil, but will keep oil prices from reaching boom levels.

The Houston economic rebound has diversified local industrial activity. But even if the local economy recovers from the oil price situation, the region has slowed domestic population growth and fewer people have moved to Houston from other states in the past few years.

"It takes a few years before I get a note that it's safe to go back to Houston," Gilmer said. "Data says life is good again."


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