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Amarillo Could See Relative Economic Slowdown in 2014

Amarillo National Bank released its 2014 Economic Forecast Tuesday. A recap of last year shows strong growth in some areas, largely due to our spring hail storm, and 20-14 may mean a relative economic slow-down on the High Plains.

Amarillo National Bank released its 2014 Economic Forecast Tuesday.

A recap of last year shows strong growth in some areas, largely due to our spring hail storm.

Retail sales boomed, with sales tax collections up 8%. Job growth was strong, with 1,800 more people employed than in 2012. 

Rain helped the agriculture industy, as feed yards started growing again in the end of the year and the dairy industry flourished. 

Vehicle sales were the highest in five years, and the energy industry remained strong.

2014 may mean a relative economic slow-down on the High Plains.

"Things really slowed down in Amarillo in fourth quarter, our car dealer customers are reporting major slow-downs, retail sales kind of slowed down, and we saw slower job growth," Patrick Ware, Executive Vice President at ANB said. 

But Amarillo National Bank says that slow down is normal after the hail storm last spring created an unexpected ecnomic boom.

According to ANB, this year, higher mortgage rates will slow the real estate market, and mortage lending will be subject to more regulations as result of new federal law.

Job growth will be slightly less, with about 1,500 new jobs expected this year. 

The consumer price index will be up as well as health care, gas and energy costs go up.  This combination of factors may lead to less retail sales. 

However, ANB representatives say there's no reason to worry.

"2014, we're going to continue to see softening in our economy. We're not going to see major swings like they're having in deep West Texas or in any other of the boom cities, but it'll be, our ecnomoy is steady and that benefits everybody," William Ware, Executive Vice President of ANB said. 

A steady economy benefitting everybody on the High Plains, as we usher in a new year.

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