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Houston Economy at a Glance – January 2019

The January 2019 issue of the Houston Economy at a Glance courtesy of the Greater Houston Partnership has been released. Highlights of this month’s update include:

  • The length of the current U.S. expansion (114 months) has led some economists to question if the U.S. is overdue for a recession. Following comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and forecasters at the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) in December, this has shifted to an outlook for slower growth instead of “no” growth.
  • Houston leads the country in tech hiring plans for 2019, according to a Robert Half Technology survey of 2,800 tech decision-makers across 28 U.S. cities. Eighty percent of the Houston respondents said that they plan to expand their teams this year.
  • Harris County has the nation’s third-largest economy, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Adjusting for inflation, the county economy grew 10.9% ($41.3B) from 2012 to 2015.
  • Growth in the Houston Business-Cycle Index was 6.8% during the three months ending in September 2018, continuing its healthy expansion from the first half of the year.
  • The spot closing price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. benchmark for light, sweet crude, averaged $66.34 per barrel through the first 11 months of 2018, a 32% increase from the $50.25 average price for the same period in 2017.
  • The drilling rig count held steady at 1,075 drilling rigs working in the U.S. during the first week of January (up 151 rigs, or 16.3%, from the same week in 2018), according to Baker Hughes.

This document can be viewed here: Houston Economy at a Glance – January 19

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