Economists forecast growth for SA, not for Texas

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosts local economists

SAN ANTONIO – It was a unique glance into the economic future of the nation, the state and the city of San Antonio. Key economists presented their 2015 economic forecasts for the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Thursday, with a mix of good and bad news.

Economist Steve Nivin, with the SABÉR Research Institute, had a clear message: the United States has the world's most powerful economy.

"You could find other countries that have stronger growth rates, but it's pretty clear to me that the U.S. has the strongest economy, and I think that will continue this year," he said.

In his 2015 economic forecast, he told local business leaders there are only a few exceptions.

"With oil prices down, the energy sector is the one that's going to feel that obviously the most," he said.

That goes for the Lone Star State, as well. However, since Texas so heavily relies on the energy sector, Nivin and his colleague, Keith Phillips, predict state growth will only hit between 1 and 2 percent, versus last year's 3.4 percent. Even though the state may see growth declines, they say that doesn't necessarily mean San Antonio will.

"As the Eagle Ford Shale activity continues to decline, the construction sector in San Antonio is going to see a strong year, I think," Nivin said.

Plus, with very little inventory, the housing industry is also thriving.

"Any growth is good growth," Nivin said.

He forecasts San Antonio will outpace the state with a total growth of 2.25 to 3 percent. That's a little slower than a booming 2014, but still something to be happy about.

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