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Economic Forecast for 2014

Amarillo National Bank officials: Slower Growth for the New Year
AMARILLO -- Amarillo National Bank released this year's economic forecast Monday.

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

        As for 2014, that unexpected boom created by the hail storm means a relative slow down, including higher mortgage rates that'll slow the real estate market.  Mortage lending will also be subject to more regulations as result of new federal laws.

        Job growth will be slightly less, with about 1,500 new jobs expected this year compared to 1,800 in 2013.  And, 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.

        According to Amarillo National Bank Vice President William Ware, "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 economy is steady and that benefits everybody."

        A couple other points of note, The weather will determing the future of the agriculture indsutry again.  The industry saw growth in 2013 after summer rains.

        Drilling activity is expected to continue in the eastern panhandle.

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