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Bexar County Budget Experts Issue Recession Warning

Brian Kirkpatrick
Texas Public Radio

Bexar County commissioners were warned Tuesday to tighten their belts to prepare for a possible recession as part of the county's five-year budget forecast.

Tina Smith-Dean of the county budget office outlined a domino effect on the economy for commissioners.

"There is some worry that declining oil prices will result in slower job growth and capital spending in the oil industry, which could also impact the hospitality and manufacturing industries that are tied with directly or indirectly to the oil and gas sector," she said.

Smith-Dean told commissioners other troublesome signs are rising interest rates and household costs.

"Increasing interest rates have resulted in higher mortage interest rates. That, coupled with increasing housing prices, could result in making it harder to access credit, which could also slow encomic growth," she said.

Smith-Dean said the global economy is threatened by Brexit, the trade war with China, and the slowing of the economies of China and Germany.

County Manager David Smith told commissioners the ability of millennials to spend and grow the economy is burdened by the heavy debt of college loans.

Smith projected the next recession will be at least as half as rough as the recession of 2008, also known as the Great Recession.

Commissioners were advised to find $7 million in recurring costs to cut from the county budget to keep it in the black through 2024.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at Brian@TPR.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian