On May 17th, Gilmer spoke on his reflections from the prior year and shared predictions for what’s up next in Houston’s Economy. The symposium was titled: “Houston’s Economy Absorbs the Big Blow from Oil in 2015: Who Shares the Pain in 2016?” In his speech, Gilmer covered important issues such as the drivers of local growth, and how these can affect the city’s overall job growth.
While Gilmer predicts another year of Slow Recovery for the Houston Economy, he is optimistic that growth will come eventually. According to Gilmer, there are five important questions that must be solved in order to better predict when recovery will come for the city: when will oil prices hit bottom? When will the Rig Count turn up? How high will the rig count go in this recovery? How long before the rig count reaches these highs? And when do energy jobs begin to come back?
Though the upcoming year will be slow, Gilmer predicts, growth will begin as soon as oil hits a minimum of $60 per barrel.
Though some in Houston have been worried about the slow economy, Gilmer also promised that the recent downturn can still hardly compare with the oil bust of the 1980’s- which still weighs heavy in the minds of many. Nonetheless, Gilmer promises that the two situations can’t be compared. “Under the worst circumstances, this isn’t ‘82,” he said. “We would have to lose 450,000 jobs to be comparable. We’re not even close.”
Gilmer will return to the Bauer Institute for Regional Forecasting for the Fall Symposium on November 10th, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown.
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