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Business Forum Warns Of Outside Risks To Houston Economy

A business forum hosted by Comerica Bank in River Oaks highlighted risks to the Houston economy posed by developments outside the region.

Comerica chief economist Robert Dye painted a picture of healthy job growth for the Houston area over the coming year — against an anemic backdrop for the U.S. as a whole.

“In terms of jobs, employment for the U.S., maybe 1% to 1.5% payroll growth over the next year or so, Houston being a growth leader in the range of 3% to 3.5%.”

Patrick Jankowski, vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership, warned about the potential effect on Houston of what’s often called the “fiscal cliff” — the expiration of Bush and Obama-era tax cuts, combined with across-the-board cuts to federal spending required by last year’s Budget Control Act.

“The federal government injects $24.4 billion into the Houston economy. I know this kind of simple, but if you just take 10% of that away, that’s $2.4 billion. That’s not a small amount.”

Unless Congress can agree on a fix, the one-two blow will land at the start of 2013.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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