Tyler hosts Dr. Ray Perryman’s 39th annual economic outlook

Tyler hosts Dr. Ray Perryman’s 39th annual economic outlook
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 9:58 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Inflation, employment, energy, and the economy. What is the forecast for the country and for East Texas?

A respected economist said East Texas could fare much better than the rest of the country in the future.

At a packed Green Acres Baptist Church conference center in Tyler, Dr. Ray Perryman delivered his 39th annual economic outlook for East Texas.

“We’ve seen some slowdown right now; there’s evidence of that. I don’t think there’s going to be a recession. If it is, it’s a very mild recession. I think by the end of the year, we’ll be seeing quite a bit of momentum,” he told the crowd.

Runaway inflation has been a worry for all Americans, but Perryman said there’s no real reason for concern.

“We are seeing the numbers going down, month to month. We’re already seeing signs it’s coming down. I think it’s going to look a lot better by the end of the year,” Perryman said.

On the job front, he said oil and gas are still major economy drivers, but the numbers might surprise you.

“Oil and gas is only about 2 percent of our jobs, but it’s about 14 percent of our total economy,” he said.

The economist said East Texas has a bright future for two reasons: resilience and diversity.

“A big and growing health and bio-sciences complex, diverse manufacturing, distribution, educational complex...of the net new jobs in the country, 70 percent are here in Texas,” Perryman said.

And he said East Texas comes up with better numbers in several areas.

“It took the United States economy 27 months to get back to even. It took the East Texas economy 18 months to get back to even,” he said.

It’s education that Perryman said is a priority.

“We have to educate these kids, no question about it. That’s the single most important thing. Workers are going to be the currency of the future,” he said.

Perryman estimated there will be 1.3 million net new jobs for the Texas economy by 2027, representing a 1.77 percent annual rate of growth over that period.