Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

North Dakota’s Booming Economy Grew 7.1 percent in 2010

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Guess which state’s economy grew at a significantly faster pace than the nation’s measly 2.9 percent?  According to a report from the Department of Commerce, it’s North Dakota, whose economy expanded a robust 7.1 percent in 2010.The key driver behind both North Dakota’s success is drilling for oil.  Historically, North Dakota’s mining sector — which includes oil — was quite small compared to its overall economy.  That has undergone change in recent years due to new technology that makes it possible to tap billions of barrels of oil in a remote area of North Dakota known as Bakken. American oil demand was relatively flat last year — but that made no difference in North Dakota.  Mining surged 59 percent, primarily because businesses were working to build the infrastructure to support this young industry in the Bakken region.  “North Dakota has a lot of untapped shale oil, and developing that field may have attracted a lot of investment and a lot of employment into the state,” said Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association.

By 2015, the new fields could yield as much as two million barrels of oil a day — more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now.  This new drilling is expected to raise American production by a minimum of 20 percent over the next five years.  Within 10 years, it could reduce oil imports by more than half.  “That’s a significant contribution to energy security,” said Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Credit Suisse.

Among the other states, one of the prevailing themes impacting growth is the ongoing housing slump – which was most evident in Nevada and Arizona.  Several states — including Indiana, Massachusetts and Oregon — saw a manufacturing comeback for autos, high-tech equipment and machinery.

The states seeing the greatest growth in 2010 after North Dakota include New York at 5.1 percent; Indiana at 4.6 percent; Massachusetts at 4.2 percent; and West Virginia at 4.0 percent.

Wyoming was the loser with its $34 million GDP falling 0.3 percent in 2010. It’s because the majority of Wyoming’s coal is used to generate electricity — and when demand for energy declined. last year, it was a setback for Wyoming’s mining industry.  With the energy sector rebounding and coal prices soaring, Wyoming is likely to fare better in 2011. Wyoming performed very differently from North Dakota in 2010.  Mining is a well established segment of the economy, accounting for approximately one third of the entire state’s GDP.  When energy demand fell and oil prices barely picked up in 2010, Wyoming’s GDP was badly hurt.  “When the economy is just flat or just limping along, you can expect a state like Wyoming to really take it hard,” Popovich said.

After Wyoming, the slowest growing states are Nevada at -0.2 percent; Arizona at 0.7 percent; Oklahoma at 0.7 percent; and Montana at 1.1 percent.  States like Delaware, which rely heavily on manufacturing of soft goods such as plastic, struggled due to weak consumer demand and competition from producers overseas.

“It’s only been fleshed out over the last 12 months just how consequential this can be,” said Mark Papa, chief executive of EOG Resources, the first company to use horizontal drilling to tap shale oil.  “And there will be several additional plays that will come about in the next 12 to 18 months. We’re not done yet.”

Texas’ Big Economy Sets the Stage for Post-Recession Growth Surge

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Texas leads the recovery.  Is there something special in the water in Texas?  After surviving the Great Recession in relatively good shape, the Lone Star State can claim that it has more jobs than it did two years ago, as well as the lowest unemployment rate of the 10 largest states at just 8.3 percent.  According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the state has created more jobs in the private sector – 724,300 in December of 2009 alone — than any other state in the last 10 years. Boasting the world’s 11th largest economy, Texas reported a gross state product (GSP) of roughly $1.25 trillion during 2009 as it expanded its presence in knowledge-based industries.  Additionally, Texas leads the nation in export revenues for the last eight years, shipping $163 billion in product last year.

“Texas, so far, is the big winner,” said William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution.  “Big Texas metros are doing well because they avoided a lot of the pitfalls of the housing boom and bust.”  Frey specifically points to Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston as high-growth cities with expanding economies, particularly in energy, technology, government and education.  Austin, Dallas and Houston are expected to experience a seven percent job growth rate over three years.  San Antonio, which is close to four military bases, is expected to experience an 8.32 percent increase in employment over the next few years.  What sustained Texas through the recession?  Civic leaders think it was the diversified economy, low taxes, reasonable regulatory rules, government incentives and funding, as well as a skilled, highly educated workforce.

Austin, for example, has long been a magnet for entrepreneurial businesses that thrive in Texas’ capital. “There’s an old saying in Austin:  If you come here and can’t find a job, start a new business,” notes Rebecca Melancon, executive director of the Austin Independent Business Alliance.  Austin’s Small Business Development Program is extremely supportive of would-be entrepreneurs with databases to research demographics, free counseling and even classes on how to operate a business.  Additionally, the “Keep Austin Weird” support for unique cultural events supports local businesses.  “The biggest thing our city does to promote local business is not something that city hall does.  It’s our culture.  We don’t want to be Anywhere, U.S.A, and we work hard not to be,” Melancon said.

Migration Leads Thousands to Georgia, Arizona, Despite Recession

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Arizona, Georgia and Texas lead the nation in new household formations.  Arizona, Georgia and Texas are the growth centers in terms of new residents in the last few years, according to an Associated Press analysis of Internal Revenue Service migration data. The IRS compared the states where taxpayers filed their returns from 2007 to 2008 to arrive at their conclusions.

Texas led the nation, with 62,827 new households; the largest number of families moved there from California and overseas.  Georgia ranked second, with 37,559 new households, many of whom moved there primarily from Florida and New York.  Arizona reported a net gain of 20,300 new households, with the majority relocating there from California and Michigan.

The IRS statistics indicate that Americans are not moving much at present, with the annual migration rate at 11.9 percent – the lowest number in decades.  United States Census Bureau estimates released at the end of 2009 confirm the IRS numbers.  According to the AP analysis, counties with better-educated taxpayers typically see the highest county-to-county migration gains.

“People who move tend to be younger and have lower incomes,” according to William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution.  “Normally, if there is a big influx of young people, that could pull down the income of an area; and if there is a big outflux of young people, that can raise income in an area.”

High Costs Could Impact Shipping Routes

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Two trends in international trade worth highlighting:

American exports are booming, thanks to the dollar’s current weakness.  This considerable increase in volume has made it virtually impossible for U.S. manufacturers to get space on container ships within a four-week window, especially for products shipping from the ports of Los Angeles or Long Beach to any Pacific Rim destination.  To illustrate the scope of the change, container space from these ports was available on demand just one year ago.  And, according to a recent Reuters article, waiting times for cargo space have jumped from two days to three weeks on the East Coast.

Fast-rising transportation costs that are a direct result of the cost of fuel is another important logistics trend – one that could negatively impact globalization.  According to an August 2 article in the International Herald Tribune by Larry Rohter, shipping a single loaded 40-foot container from Shanghai to the United States has soared to as much as $8,000 per unit, compared with just $3,000 earlier in the decade.  Additionally, there are cost add-ons, primarily in the form of fuel surcharges and government-mandated fees.  To save on fuel costs, container ships have shaved their top speeds by nearly 20 percent, which means it takes longer for products to reach their intended markets.

Shipping to and from Prince Rupert in British Columbia is slightly less costly, because the distance to Asian ports is shorter than from Los Angeles or Long Beach.  Still, space amounts to several thousand dollars per container.

“If prices stay at these levels, that could lead to some significant rearrangement of production, among sectors and countries,” said C. Fred Bergsten, author of The United States and the World Economy and a director of the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.  “You could have a very significant shock to traditional consumption patterns and also some important growth effects.”

A far better alternative could be to ship to and from Asia from the southern border regions, where the going rate is approximately $800 per loaded container.  That price differential could potentially lure companies to move production facilities to Mexico or the Southwestern United States – primarily Texas.  This would give them the opportunity to leverage the more attractive shipping rates through the growing Mexican ports of Lazaro Cardenas and Punto Colonet.