Not that long ago, the plunge in oil prices was acting as a huge drag on the Texas economy. Even with many parts of the country experiencing a recovery, Texas had many local economies that would have felt absolutely like a full-blown recession in other areas of the country. And then Hurricane Harvey came along, trying to stunt the local Texas recovery.
The saying that “nothing lasts forever” proved yet again to be true. Texas recovered handily in 2017, even considering the big impact of the hurricane. And now the Texas economy is looking up for even better growth in 2018.
24/7 Wall St. has tracked multiple issues, releases and trends acting as a would-be boost for further growth in the year ahead. While the major recovery in oil and gas prices is a key driver, other factors are at work as well. There are still some uncertainties that have been highlighted along with the growth-oriented forecasts.
It was just on January 18 that Amazon.com disclosed that Dallas and Austin were two of the 20 cities in the final running for Amazon’s second headquarters. Austin was recently ranked as the most educated city in Texas. And the Austin facility owned by Apple may also be a beneficiary for the recently announced $350 billion commitment to America as well.
Texas is perhaps the biggest winner in worker migration in the United States. Crain’s recently reported that Dallas-Fort Worth was the second most common moving destination in 2017, with Austin coming in fifth place for 2017. Houston was ranked as the seventh most popular destination for people to move to in 2017.
Trulia’s most recent housing and renting data trends for Houston showed a 3% week-over-week rise in average listing prices and a 3% drop in median rent per month. Trulia’s Dallas trends showed a 4% week-over-week rise in average listing price and a 0% rise in median rent per month, followed by an Austin trends report showing a 3% week-over-week rise in average listing price and a 0% rise in median rent per month. Trends in San Antonio showed a 2% week-over-week rise in average listing price and a 0% rise in median rent per month.
The Dallas Fed released its Texas Manufacturing Outlook late in December, and the strength of 2017 is expected to rise in 2018. The outlook commentary of the report said:
Expectations regarding future business conditions remained highly optimistic. The index of future general business activity inched up to 40.9, while the index of future company outlook held steady at 40.1. Other indexes for future manufacturing activity showed mixed movements but remained solidly in positive territory.
On Friday, the Texas Workforce Commission showed that Texas remains one of the top states for jobs. It said:
Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was to 3.9 percent in December and remains below the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. The Texas economy added 306,900 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs over the year, including 400 jobs added in December. Annual employment growth for Texas was 2.5 percent in December, marking 92 consecutive months of annual growth.