TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The East Texas economy is expected to grow at a faster rate than the state over the next five years, according to economist Ray Perryman.
Perryman, a Lindale native, was in Tyler on Thursday to deliver his 35th Annual Economic Outlook. And this year, Perryman says things are looking “very good.”
"There’s a lot of uncertainty out there right now, but underneath the economy is doing pretty well.
So well locally that Perryman expects East Texas to grow at a faster rate than the state over the next five years. Expected to grow at a rate of 4.5% compared to the forecasted statewide rate of 4%.
“It’s very solid right now,” Perryman said." We’re seeing a lot of growth in a lot of different sectors."
In 2018, Perryman says the Texas economy was “firing on all cylinders.” And in East Texas, the Sanderson Farms expansion made for a good year along with a growing medical industry.
“There’s a lot of things going on,” Perryman said. “But what I think will really create the big growth opportunity in the 10-20 years is health and bio-sciences.”
And when it comes to oil and gas, Perryman says things are changing.
“Oil companies used to need to make about $70 a barrel to make money on a fracked well,” Perryman said. “Now they need about $50.”
According to Perryman’s outlook, challenges for the state include infrastructure, education, and job training. Just a few clouds in an economic forecast that he says, doesn’t look all that bad.