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- April 1, 2015: Vol. 27, Number 4

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Houston, we have a problem

by Loretta Clodfelter

Falling gas prices are mostly a good thing, economically speaking; they keep a lid on inflation and put more money in consumers’ pockets.

But a drop in the price of gas can put a dent in energy-focused Houston’s economy — and that should have commercial real estate investors taking notice.

In a recent presentation, Keith Phillips, a senior economist and research officer with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, noted the falling price of gas is going to have a negative impact on employment in Texas. Phillips forecasts job growth in Houston will slow in 2015, though remain positive.

“The sharp decline in oil prices has created much uncertainty in our outlook for state job growth this year, but we’re viewing it as a headwind for the Texas economy,” explained Phillips. “However, Texas has a diversified economy, and while the drop in oil prices slows job growth, it won’t send the state into a recession like it did in the 1980s.”

Statewide, Ph

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