AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Amarillo National Bank announced its annual Economic Forecast for the Amarillo area.
“After an unprecedented year marked by a pandemic, economic shutdowns, and widespread uncertainty, Amarillo National Bank anticipates a much-improved 2021 in its annual Economic Forecast.” stated the announcement.
The Bank said that Amarillo rebounded from the year’s challenges faster than other cities, and the bank’s forecast suggests the area will continue to build upon a strong housing sector, improving employment numbers, rising retail sales and commodity prices.
“This will obviously be a year of rebuilding and recovery” says William Ware, president of ANB. “The first half will be slow but the 2nd half should be stronger due to vaccines, job growth and ending of lock downs.” He points out that housing and commercial construction will carry the first quarter while retail sales and auto sales will increase throughout the year.
The bank stressed that jobs are the most important economic driver for our area. Local job losses in2020 reached 20,000 before improving. Two-thirds of those lost jobs returned by year’s end. The bank predicts job growth in the 2nd half, especially in hospitality and tourism.
The bank predicted that one bright spot will be a change in consumer behavior. “We’re looking for all sectors of the economy to benefit from pent-up demand as the crises subsides,” says Ware. Government stimulus checks, higher savings rates and improved confidence will contribute to higher spending later in the year.
Commodities, said the bank, will have an uphill battle if the drought continues. Dairy’s and feedlots will see smaller profits due to higher input costs. Energy Prices should hold steady with $45 oil and $2.50 gas – both good price ranges for this area.
Ware contended that Amarillo’s resilient spirit will play a major role. ““We’ve met great challenges before and have always recovered stronger,” says Ware. “Our diverse economy, highly skilled work force and strong medical center will carry us forward.”
More information can be found here.
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