Houston

2018 Houston Economic Outlook

by CoyDavidson on February 23, 2018

Houston’s Economy Back On Track

Houston ranked among the top-performing U.S. metros last year and has historically been a top 10 metro leading the nation in population and job growth. In March, The Brookings Institution ranked Houston 5th best performing metropolitan area by change in growth, 2010-2015, in its 2017 Metro Monitor. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas suburbs, including Houston’s, made up half of the country’s 10 fastest growing cities between 2015 and 2016. The Texas Demographic Center’s Fast Growth Scenario projects the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA population to growth 2.3% in 2018.

Since the dramatic fall of oil prices that occurred in late 2014, Houston’s economy slowed significantly and grew at a lesser pace in 2015, 2016 and 2017 than its’ average annual rate. Even though Houston’s economy saw accelerated growth in 2017, it was well below Houston’s potential. Future growth forecasts are promising as local economists forecast about 45,000 jobs or slightly more in 2018 and expect that number to increase annually through 2021.

Houston’s economy was jolted in August 2017 when Hurricane Harvey slammed the Texas Gulf Coast and dumped over 50 inches of rain over a three-day period. The event caused widespread flooding, destroying homes, businesses and infrastructure. Further, the historical rainfall totals caused supply chain interruptions, halted distribution logistics and shut down the Port of Houston, manufacturing plants and retail stores for at least a week. Houston area retail spending rose the week leading up to the event and then plummeted 58.7% the week after. The good news is that Houston’s resiliency lead to an uptick in consumer spending within weeks after the event, mostly caused by area residents purchasing replacement items damaged by the storm.

Houston ranked among the top-performing U.S. metros last year and has historically been a top 10 metro leading the nation in population and job growth. In March, The Brookings Institution ranked Houston 5th best performing metropolitan area by change in growth, 2010-2015, in its 2017 Metro Monitor. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas suburbs, including Houston’s, made up half of the country’s 10 fastest growing cities between 2015 and 2016. The Texas Demographic Center’s Fast Growth Scenario projects the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA population to growth 2.3% in 2018.

Since the dramatic fall of oil prices that occurred in late 2014, Houston’s economy slowed significantly and grew at a lesser pace in 2015, 2016 and 2017 than its’ average annual rate. Even though Houston’s economy saw accelerated growth in 2017, it was well below Houston’s potential. Future growth forecasts are promising as local economists forecast about 45,000 jobs or slightly more in 2018 and expect that number to increase annually through 2021.

HOUSTON MSA ANNUAL JOB GROWTH

Houston’s economy was jolted in August 2017 when Hurricane Harvey slammed the Texas Gulf Coast and dumped over 50 inches of rain over a three-day period. The event caused widespread flooding, destroying homes, businesses and infrastructure. Further, the historical rainfall totals caused supply chain interruptions, halted distribution logistics and shut down the Port of Houston, manufacturing plants and retail stores for at least a week. Houston area retail spending rose the week leading up to the event and then plummeted 58.7% the week after. The good news is that Houston’s resiliency lead to an uptick in consumer spending within weeks after the event, mostly caused by area residents purchasing replacement items damaged by the storm.

Houston’s strategic location and core strengths, including an expanding healthcare sector, cutting-edge medical advancements, technological breakthroughs across industries and strong import/export trade activity (No. 1 US port in foreign tonnage), uniquely position it to play a vital role in meeting national and global market demands. Houston has and will continue to stand as a leader among U.S. metros and the world.

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