Amarillo's economy boasting a promising outlook for 2012

AMARILLO, Texas - Amarillo National Bank is predicting energy and employment could help bring a boost to Amarillo's economy this year, while another drought and federal funding are raising some concerns.

Amarillo National Bank vice presidents William and Patrick Ware say weather, energy and employment are the three main money makers, or breakers, to look out for.

While energy could provide a big boost for the panhandle, there are concerns about weather. Another drought would further hurt farm incomes and farm yields. Meanwhile, job growth and housing are also steady right now, while national economic stability is helping feedlots and dairy farms throughout our area thrive. A gas boom in the Eastern part of the panhandle is also helping our region, too.

"You'll see auto dealerships benefit from this, you'll see housing in these small towns... construction go up in these small towns because of this," Amarillo National Bank vice president Patrick Ware said. "Retail sales go up in these small towns surrounding Amarillo. So, any kind of energy activity here in the panhandle will benefit everybody."

Federal funding is also raising some concerns but, in the immediate future, it does not appear to be a major threat with the local economy.