Economic trends to follow
Despite revenue dip, state projects better days ahead On Jan. 11, one day ahead of the start of the 87th Texas legislative session, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar announced an expected reduction in state revenue for general purpose spending in the 2022-23 biennium. Hegar said the pandemic “wiped out” any potential revenue gains at the end of the previous biennium and created a decit of nearly $1 billion. Despite the events of the past year, Hegar said he anticipates a shift back to economic growth as tax collections and consumer spending potentially rebound. However, he noted the uncertainty in forecasting ahead and said the state’s ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations could depress activity over the next few weeks and months. Ben Thompson contributed to this report. OTHER STORIES TO FOLLOW IN 2021
TOP STORY OF 2021
TOTAL CUSTOMER SPENDING: YEAR OVER YEAR +18.9%
+29.4% GROCERY HEALTH CARE RESTAURANTS & HOTELS TRANSPORTATION ENTERTAINMENT & RECREATION
NOTALL SPENDING CREATED EQUAL Consumer spending—the combined dollar value residents pay for goods—is up year over year in Greater Austin. But that spending has beneted some industries much more than others.
% CHANGE YEAR OVER YEAR
SOURCE: OPPORTUNITY INSIGHTSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Austin economy outperforming state, national average
BY JACK FLAGLER
rate was 5.1% in December—lower than the state and national numbers, but still double last year’s local rate. Spending also shows Austin as an outlier: up 18.9% year over year as of the week ending Jan. 3, as compared to a 2.8% dip nationally, according to data
from Opportunity Insights, a nonpartisan research group from Harvard University. However, spending in the Austin metro has largely not beneted local businesses. Small-business revenue in the Austin metro was down by 44% year over year as of Dec. 30.
Austin was not spared from the economic recession caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic, but data shows the blow locally has not been as pronounced as it has been in some other areas of the country. The Austin metro’s unemployment
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