AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Amarillo National Bank's (ANB) 2017 local economic forecast predicts a year of steady recovery.
2016 was a mixed bag in terms of economic success.
With low interest rates, the housing market performed exceptionally well while the over supply of cattle caused one of the worst years in history for the cattle industry.
As for 2017, experts with ANB predict our area will make a recovery because of restored consumer confidence, projections for rising interest rates and incremental commodity price increases.
"The main thing that drives everything is employment, we like to look at growth in manufacturing jobs, and growth in our health sector," said Executive Vice President with ANB, Pat Ware. "Anything good going on our in the medical community and growth in manufacturing is going to bring real good strong growth to Amarillo."
Employment levels increased in 2016 but due to the type of jobs it had limited impact on retail sales.
Experts predict as the price of oil and natural gas increase, more higher paying jobs will return to the area which will benefit retail and other sectors as well.
"Incomes in this area are tied to cattle, farming, and natural gas," said Executive Vice President with ANB, William Ware. "If those prices come up so will incomes and that will be a really big boost to our economy."