Killing the Goose

Legislative noise has been heard in Austin about eliminating the Texas Enterprise Fund, a key aspect of the state’s economic development incentives. The Governor has asked that it be retained. Let me be very clear: scrapping this “deal closing” fund would be a major blow to the state’s future competitiveness, with the potential for major fallout over time. It would be like killing the goose […]

Economic Forecast for Texas’ Smaller Metropolitan Areas

By 2021, I am projecting that the 19 smaller Texas Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) will add a total of about 215,000 net new jobs to the state. The growth rates over the period, which spans the 2016 to 2021 time horizon, will vary markedly. Some areas will outpace the state rate of expansion, while others will grow more slowly. The state’s smaller metropolitan areas often […]

Global Trade: Let’s Get Real!

One of President Trump’s first official actions was issuing an Executive Order to withdraw from the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement that would have linked 12 nations in the largest free trade zone to date. As a practical matter, Congress wasn’t going to support it in any case, so the Order was only symbolic. It is a genuine mystery to me how […]

Economic Forecast for Texas’ Largest Metropolitan Areas

Texas’ largest metropolitan areas are the source of the majority of the state’s business activity, and what goes on in these major population centers affects companies, families, and communities statewide. Over the next five years, we are forecasting that the greater Austin area will continue to lead the way, with several other major cities also outpacing the statewide rate of growth. As context for these […]

Year in Review: 2016

In some ways, 2016 was a tumultuous year. It will likely be remembered for a divisive Presidential election, but also a record high stock market. Terror attacks in several nations, but global enjoyment of the Olympic Games. For the economy, 2016 brought both continued improvement and notable changes, including long-awaited decisions from the Federal Reserve and OPEC. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the […]

The Economic Forecast for Texas

The resilience of the Texas economy with the end of the oil surge has surprised many, and prospects for continued expansion are encouraging. For the first 11 months of 2016, the state added 164,000 positions, exceeding the pace of 2015 (with 140,400 net new jobs over the first 11 months). In September, Texas experienced the strongest employment gain in more than two years (up by […]

The Forecast for the US Economy

As I look at the US economy and consider the future, I see some good news and some bad news. On balance, I think we’ll see continued moderate expansion, but it may be a rocky road at times. Recent performance is setting the stage for continued economic growth. The unemployment rate declined to 4.6% in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 178,000 according […]

The Impact of Texas Travel and Tourism

Travel and tourism plays a large role in the Texas economy. Unique traditions and expansive wide-open spaces have lent a genuine mystique to “all things Texas” over the years. Today, the Lone Star State offers countless opportunities for leisure and business travelers—whether intrastate, interstate, or from far-flung places around the globe. From sleepy picturesque towns and winding country roads to enormous high-tech theme parks and […]