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Oil Price Drop Expected To Impact Texas Economy

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

The Texas economy is forecast to continue to grow this year, but not as fast as it has been.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas senior economist and research officer, Keith Phillips, said on Tuesday that the state’s economy was stimulated in the second half of 2014, when oil prices dropped from $106 a barrel at the end to June to $80 a barrel at the end of October.  Drilling was still profitable for the oil companies and consumers were saving money at the pump. But now that price has dropped even more.

“The decline in oil prices from $80 to $50 is going to have a negative impact on the Texas economy. And it’s part of the reason I’m expecting job growth in Texas to slow this year,” said Phillips.

He added that the biggest impact would be in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale regions. Phillips said he thought the 2015 job growth in Texas would be similar to the national average — between 2 and 2.5 percent.

He indicated that Texas would, for the moment, stave off the kind of shocking effect the steep drop in oil prices saw in the ’80s, mostly because of a more diversified job market now, as compared to then; that is, less dependence now on the energy sector as the state’s major employer.

Download the annual Texas Economic Outlook presentation here:  http://bit.ly/1y7SNBM