Houston confronts one-two punch of COVID-19 and oil bust

Texas

In this Thursday, April 30, 2020, photo traffic moves along Interstate 10 near downtown Houston. Like in other cities, the coronavirus has shut down much of Houston’s economic activity, slashing thousands of jobs, while at the same time, the price of oil plunged below zero recently as demand plummeted due to the worldwide lockdown to stop the spread of the virus. This one-two punch from COVID-19 and the collapse in oil prices will make it much harder for Houston to recover from a looming recession, according to economists. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — Oil busts aren’t new for Houston, known as the energy capital of the world.

But Houston is now in uncharted territory grappling with an oil downturn in the middle of a pandemic.

The coronavirus has shut down much of Houston’s economy, slashing jobs and revenue.

The city could have a budget deficit of about $200 million.

At the same time, the price of oil plunged as demand plummeted due to the worldwide lockdown.

A third of Houston’s economy depends on oil. Economists say this one-two punch from COVID-19 and the collapse in oil prices will make it much harder for Houston to recover financially. 

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