Amarillo National Bank's 2009 Outlook

Patrick Ware, ANB Assistant Vice President
Patrick Ware, ANB Assistant Vice President

For the next six months, the Panhandle economy will not go up... Or down, according to Amarillo National Bank.

It seems surprising to hear a level economy is good news, but compared to the rest of the nation, Amarillo looks like it will remain on an island for 2009.

"In Amarillo we did a lot better in '08 than a lot of other cities," said Richard Ware President of Amarillo National Bank

And 2009 seems to be a repeat of that.

Bank officials say six months of a flat economy should lead to an upturn during the summer.

And the job growth plays a big roll in this forecast

"We think the job market is going to stay tight in Amarillo. We think some of these national companies are going to stay at their current levels," said Patrick Ware, the Assistant Vice President of ANB

Along with jobs, the bank says oil, wheat and corn weigh heavily for both consumers and producers.

"Commodity prices are very important part of our economy and the price of crops and oil will stay low for the first half of the year and go up by the end of summer and early fall," said Patrick Ware.

But there are several factors involved in creating an economic upturn.

"A huge increase in jobs, more construction and boom in retail sales. And just the overall attitude and psychology of the consumer we just don't see that happening for the first six months," said Patrick Ware.

But there is one major factor missing from the 2009 outlook, sales from the holiday shopping season. We are told the local retail numbers will be released on the 20th, and patrick ware is optimistic they, like many things, will be better than the rest of the nation.