June 18, 2020
Lower oil prices plus a pandemic have meant Texas’ economy is being hit with a double whammy, a harder blow than the rest of the U.S. has withstood. However, a researcher monitoring the state’s weekly economic heartbeat says he detects positive signs.
“After flattening the last two weeks of May, the Texas weekly leading index increased during the first week of June,” said research economist Luis Torres with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “This was due to an increase in business applications, fewer people becoming unemployed and growth in the real price of oil.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any crisis to hit the Texas economy, said Torres. “The economy is currently going through a self-induced, sudden-stop in an attempt to stabilize the spread of the virus and save lives,” he said. “The size of the economic shock will likely result in losses that overshadow those from the 2008-09 financial crisis.”
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