The Texas economy is considered to be more resilient than that of other states, partly because it’s so diverse. But the COVID-19 pandemic has tested that resilience.
Angelos Angelou, founder of the economic research firm AngelouEconomics, told Texas Standard host David Brown on Wednesday that data from earlier this spring shows just how much the pandemic lockdown affected the state’s economy. But he also said things are improving slowly.
“The data at this point in time is not looking good, but it’s looking better than in April,” Angelou said.
Angelou said it’s hard to predict the future with just a few weeks worth of data, but he expects that the Texas economy will be far less prosperous than before the pandemic. The state’s oil and gas industry, for example, was devastated by a steep drop in oil prices and likely won’t fully recover.
“That trend will stay about the same; the damage is already done,” Angelou said.
Sales tax revenue has also dropped significantly because consumers are spending less and saving more.
And, Angelou estimates that about 1.2 million Texans will have lost their jobs by the end of the year. One possible bright spot, though, is that some jobs could come back later in the year.
But Angelou believes Texas is better equipped to handle an economic downturn than most states. And that could mean more workers will come to the state, which could bolster the economy.
“We will emerge stronger than ever before. I mean, that’s the nature of our economy; that’s the nature of our people,” Angelou said.
Web story by Sarah Gabrielli.