May 4, 2020
The Odessa Economic Index fell for the third straight month in January, and the sixth of the past seven months after peaking last June, and fell below its year-ago level for the first time in the current cycle of contraction. West Texas economist Karr Ingham noted that January’s OEI of 266.6 was down 0.5% year-over-year.
The contraction in Odessa’s economy in the latter half of 2019 and moving into 2020 was the result of a slowdown in the regional oil and gas economy. It doesn’t reflect the more recent COVID-19 related events that led to a partial shut-down of the economy and sent oil prices crashing.
However, the pandemic-related events suggest that “the downward slide in the Odessa general economy and the Permian Basin regional oil and gas economy has now worsened dramatically,” wrote Ingham. Those effects will show up in the April numbers, and perhaps even those for March.
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