Amarillo bankers predict economy to grow this year

Amarillo economy expected to grow.

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Two Amarillo based banks say the economy should grow this year.

“We’re optimistic about the job growth, the retail sales and the construction finding it’s footing. We expected that the feed yards and the dairies are set up very nicely for a good 2020. They have become and continue to increase the impact they have on our economy here,” said Matt Harkins, vice president of wealth management at Amarillo National Bank.

Happy State Bank says this can partly be traced back to the education we are seeing in Amarillo.

“Unemployment remains very, very low. It’s great for us we are seeing a great partnership between the city, WT and AC and we’re creating a more educated workforce. That’s better for every business in town, that’s better for attracting new business so we’re seeing everything kind of come together at the right times,” said Mikel Williamson, president of Happy State Bank.

However, one of the categories looking not as prosperous is oil and gas.

“We touched on oil and gas, we’re a little worried about the prices there that we don’t see the catalyst for them to come up yet,” said Harkins.

Amarillo National Bank says in the past, people in the Panhandle have proven they don't allow economic issues to keep them down.

“The people of this area are very resilient. Regardless of the outcomes of the different things we are forecasting, we’ve shown in the past we can adapt to what needs to be done to have a good year,” said Harkins.

“It’s just turning out to be a good year for both Amarillo, but also all the surrounding communities in the Panhandle,” said Williamson.

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