Forecasters Predict Economic Improvement for the Austin Area

Posted by Crystal Olenbush on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 at 10:00pm.

A new analysis recently conducted by the Capital Area Council of Governments has determined that the Austin real estate region will likely begin to see signs of economic improvement later this year.

The analysis, which involved taking a closer look at IHS Global Insight data, determined that the Austin - Round Rock region's gross metropolitan product - which is the value of all of the goods and services produced in the area - should be back in the positive range by the time the fourth quarter rolls around.

According to the data, the GMP growth rate in Austin was at 5.1% when the recession officially started during the fourth quarter in 2007. This number steadily declined for every quarter afterward, until it finally fell into the negative range during the fourth quarter of 2008. During the second and as well as the current third quarters, the GMP is still in the negatives at -1.2%. According to the forecasts, however, the GMP will be at about a positive 1% during the fourth quarter.

In addition to predicting positive growth for the Austin-Round Rock region, the IHS Global Insight data analysis also predicts that the overall population in Austin will grow to just below 60,000 people this year, reflecting a 3.5% growth. The group also anticipates that 4,700 more jobs will be lost this year when compared to 2008 figures while income levels remain relatively flat.

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