Houston economy to see trouble

Economist sees a harder ride as Houston loses “energy cushion”
— Houston Chronicle2

Houstonians, brace yourselves. Economic oracle Barton Smith sees trouble on the horizon.

“We’re about to lose our energy cushion,” said Smith, director of the University of Houston’s Institute for Regional Forecasting, who presented his annual economic forecast to 1,000 developers, bankers and other business leaders at a luncheon Thursday.

When that happens, he said, Houston will look more like the rest of the U.S. economy.

Smith predicts the Houston area will lose jobs in 2009. How many will depend on the intensity of the economic slump.

In his best-case scenario, the area will lose 11,000 jobs, a 0.4 percent drop, he said. But if the global downturn deepens and draws in more countries that, in turn, will use less energy, Smith projects losses of 37,500 jobs, a 1.4 percent drop.


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Author: Paloma Cruz

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