Central Region Economic Conditions

Temptation for economists, leading to forecasting out of the rear view mirror. Stresses over the past several years in key industry sectors
in the Central states have meant an unaccustomed slowdown of growth in many key states. But this now appears to be changing as the forces
shaping manufacturing, agriculture, and energy either find their bottoms or begin to accelerate from a period of sluggishness.

The precipitous drop in energy prices, for instance, seems to have run its course. For the past year, crude oil prices have settled into a narrow range close to $50 per barrel. Expectations that economic growth will spur demand is encouraging an increase in rig counts in the Permian Basin and increasing exploration in the Bakken region further north. The multiplier effects of renewed energy industry growth are positive for the Central states as a whole. The year is beginning with fairly positive conditions for the Breadbasket, with strong prices for a variety of agricultural products, including soybeans, cattle, hogs, and winter wheat.

Read more: Central_2017_Q1_State_of_Market_web

Economist Hugh F. Kelly PhD, CRE, who leads TCN’s Real Estate Economic Committee, is Clinical Professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate where he has taught for 30 years. He is widely cited in the real estate industry and is a frequent speaker around the world.