The substantial and rapid increase in the price of housing, whether rented or purchased, has significant implications for millions of households. Wages have been trending upward of late, but with increases in the cost of many items even as overall inflation moderates, many people continue to struggle. The spike in home and apartment prices, which represent the largest expenditure category for most families, is posing difficulties throughout the country. Let's take a brief look.
As the migrant crisis engulfs the border and the politics become increasingly complex and counterproductive, it is useful to remember the economic significance of our relationship with our southern neighbor. Let's briefly explore.
A moratorium was recently issued on permits for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. Although the reasons were purportedly related to climate change, the reality is that slowing the development of this market is actually deleterious for the environment, not to mention the global economy, human sustainability, and geopolitical stability.
Tensions are running high in the Red Sea. Houthi rebels based in Yemen have been targeting cargo ships, firing missiles at vessels bearing flags of a variety of nations. Their goal appears to be to widen the conflict in the Middle East while simultaneously putting pressure on Europe.
New population estimates have been released, and once again Texas gained far more residents than any other state. The US population increased by a little more than 1.6 million people during the 12 months ending in July 2023. That's a rise of just 0.5%, but it's better than the 0.4% increase in 2022 or 2021's 0.2% gain. Migration was up, and there was a drop in deaths (though they remain well above pre-COVID levels).
Looking back at 2023 (or 2022, 2021, or 1687 for that matter) confirms that there are always unanticipated events in the economy, no matter how many millions of equations or thousands of hours of research a forecast involves. Nonetheless, there are trends that can be anticipated that will be key drivers of economic growth in 2024. Let's take a brief look.
As I've said before, one of the most striking characteristics the US economy demonstrated in 2023 was resilience. Texas set a blazing growth pace for the year, though things slowed a bit toward the end. Let's look back at the year and the key developments from an economic perspective.
The seven largest metropolitan areas in Texas drive the overall pace of growth, accounting for nearly eight of every 10 net new jobs. Looking ahead over a long-term forecast horizon (through 2050), this pattern appears likely to persist. Let's take a brief tour of the highlights of our latest projections.
The recent United Nations Climate Conference in Dubai, known as COP28, ended with a historic agreement that, for the first time, mentions transitioning away from fossil fuels. More than 190 nations were represented at the event. Although the language regarding reduction in the future use of oil, natural gas, and coal is notable, it is far from a mandate.
The Texas economy has been on a strong growth trajectory. About 1.1 million of the 4.5 million net jobs the United States has gained since just prior to the pandemic (February 2020) have been in Texas. Looking ahead, our analysis indicates that this dynamic state economy is likely to continue to outperform the nation. Let's take a brief look at key drivers of expansion over the next few decades.