NM economist not so gloomy this year - Albuquerque Journal

NM economist not so gloomy this year

For years, economist Jeff Mitchell has delivered a speech on New Mexico’s economic forecast at an annual data conference in Albuquerque. Typically, the gist is, in his words, “depressing.”

But not this year.

“Today, for the first time in my stint in doing this, I’m actually not a depressive economist of the dismal science,” said Mitchell, director of the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business & Economic Research (BBER). “We’re in the strongest position we’ve been in since 2008.”

Mitchell told conference participants he is forecasting an increase of 10,500 jobs, a gain of 1.3 percent, in 2018 and 2019, and an average of 10,000 jobs, or a gain of 1.2 percent, through 2023. He said he expects oil production to increase sharply from 235 million barrels in 2018 to 345 million in 2023. He also said personal income is likely to grow at about 4.3 percent per year as a result of private wage and salary increases, among other factors.

Those predictions are based on several assumptions: that oil production increases and prices stay in the $50 to $80 range, that state spending emphasizes education and infrastructure investments, and that a significant amount of cash flows into the state’s recently-established “rainy day” fund.

“Barring any really significant changes in the structure of the economy . . . next year is about as good as you’re going to see,” said Mitchell.

Still, Mitchell said he didn’t see “a tremendous upside beyond that,” and long-term growth in the state’s economy will require addressing New Mexico’s long-standing education and poverty issues, as well as becoming less dependent on the volatile oil and gas industries.

New Mexico’s recent economic growth has been relatively broad-based, according to Mitchell, with strong gains in the construction, mining and transportation industries. Out-migration to other states has slowed, and several energy companies have made significant infrastructure investments in New Mexico, which indicates those companies are likely to maintain their presence here for several years. Sales of residential homes are up 50 percent compared with the year prior.

Mitchell emphasized that he is not completely bullish in his predictions. He estimates the likelihood of better-than-expected economy at 15 percent, but the chances of a worse-than-expected economy at 25 percent. A more optimistic scenario would involve increased business investment, consumer purchasing and residential home sales. A more pessimistic scenario would likely be tied to the macro economy and the threat of trade issues, currency fluctuations, higher interest rates and other variables that have the potential to upend the economy.

“I still have some gloom left in me,” he said.

Home » Business » Most Recent Biz News » NM economist not so gloomy this year

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
A farewell message from Albuquerque Journal reporter Rick Nathanson ...
ABQnews Seeker
Rick Nathanson: I knew from the ... Rick Nathanson: I knew from the time I was in seventh grade that I was going to be a newspaper guy.
Albuquerque doctor doesn't let cancer, the Alaskan wilderness slow ...
ABQnews Seeker
"Race To Survive Alaska" premieres at ... "Race To Survive Alaska" premieres at 9 p.m. Monday, April 3, on USA Network.
Leaf & Hive brews up an alcoholic beverage with ...
ABQnews Seeker
Leaf & Hive, located at 1208 ... Leaf & Hive, located at 1208 Mercantile Drive in Santa Fe, offers 12 flavor profiles of its honeybrew.
A stadium at Balloon Fiesta Park? City officials explain ...
ABQnews Seeker
A viable location within Balloon Fiesta ... A viable location within Balloon Fiesta Park has been identified as a possible site to construct a privately-funded soccer stadium for New Mexico United, ...
The COVID-related era of continuous Medicaid coverage ends Friday. ...
ABQnews Seeker
Continuous enrollment - started at the ... Continuous enrollment - started at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic - automatically renewed coverage for people in the Medicaid program. New Mexico is ...
NMMNHS exhibit showcases the world of microscopic photography
ABQnews Seeker
The New Mexico Museum of Natural ... The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is presenting the premier celebration of microscopic photography, as "Nikon Small World" runs through April ...
$4 million proposed for a new Unser Museum
ABQnews Seeker
Museum allocations are a point of ... Museum allocations are a point of contention as Albuquerque leaders wrangle over how to spend $200M in expected infrastructure money
Donald Trump indicted; expected to surrender early next week
ABQnews Seeker
NEW YORK (AP) -- Donald Trump ... NEW YORK (AP) -- Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, a historic reckoning after years of investigations into his personal, ...
Isotopes get ready to begin 2023 on the road; ...
Featured Sports
For instance, Albuquerque boasts a new: ... For instance, Albuquerque boasts a new: manager, playing surface, video board -- which is still the biggest in the minors, btw
Chef's kiss: 6 for-sale Albuquerque-area houses under $500K with ...
ABQnews Seeker
Check out these six houses with ... Check out these six houses with chef's kitchens on the market for under $500K in the Albuquerque area