Welcome to the New Year! What does this year hold in store for us as small businesses? While no one can accurately predict the future we can look at trends and current conditions to get an idea what to expect.
BBVA Compass expects 2014 to be the first year where the recovery reaches the most Americans since 2006. Wells Fargo Economics expect big gains for Texas in 2014 as it continues to benefit from a stream of new residents (Texas is ranked No. 1 in in-migration nationally for two straight years), boosted retail sales and tightened housing markets. Both banks expect Texas to benefit from stronger U.S. and global economic growth.
Some of the projections from both banks economists are:
Oil and gas - This industry is still a driver in Texas but the fast pace of growth has slowed down. YTD productions fell reflecting low gas prices. The economists see more investments in pipeline construction and expansion/development of refinery operations.
Technology - Growth in mobile devices, cloud computing, big data and social media created a recent surge in hiring in Austin. The mix in Tech is moving from aerospace to more computer system design, architectural and engineering. Companies in data analytics and data security are also opening in Texas metro areas.
Housing - sales grew 7.6% from a year ago which is more than twice the national average, driven by the strong population growth and declining unemployment rate. This has also left home supplies at their lowest levels in two decades. Wells Fargo economists noted a recent decline in construction employment but noted that this came from heavy and civil engineering projects.
Retail Trade - Year over year retail gains are driven by stronger population, employment and income growth. More consumers are buying online, but despite this hiring at brick and mortar retailers is up 4.4% in Texas from a year ago. Fastest growing employment in Texas can be found at building material stores followed by clothing stores and auto dealers.
Regardless of your industry it appears that 2014 could be a very good year for Texas overall.