Annual Economic Forecast to be released Thursday

(KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)

AUSTIN (KXAN)-  Austin’s economy has been sizzling hot over the last few years. But, a slow down may be ahead.

That is according to Angelos Angelou, an Austin economist. He plans to unveil his 2017 forecast for the city on Thursday morning.

Angelou didn’t say when a cooling period will begin but did hint job seekers may see it first.

Austin’s unemployment rate is quite low, at 3.2 percent. Angelou calls it a market that is too full. He believes the low unemployment will make it difficult for employers, especially small businesses, to find new talented workers.

Angelou, who expects markets to remain strong, isn’t panicking. He believes Austin will still see some growth, adding about 30,000 new jobs by 2018.

Two other big areas of concern are traffic and affordability of homes.

Many people have moved farther away from the city to afford homes and that is causing longer commute times. Angelou said the city should consider all of its options when it comes to better transportation.

“Whether it’s public transportation or personal rapid transit systems or gondolas, I think [Austin] needs to be look at all of it,” said Angelou. “At the same time, we need to not shy away from building our roadway systems. Traffic will choke the city.”

Angelou said no matter what the future holds, the key to keeping the economy robust is consistency.

“We need to be mindful that economic development is not an electric switch that we can turn on and off,” he said. “We need to be consistent, because there is nothing more harmful to our future than inconsistency; and, in our policy of attracting economic development.”

AngelouEconomics along with the Austin Business Journal is releasing the forecast in this webinar  at 11 a.m.

 

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