The economic recoveries under way nationally and here in Acadiana are far different creatures.
That was the message Thursday morning from leading economic expert Dr. Loren Scott, who delivered his 2013 Economic Outlook for Louisiana and Acadiana to hundreds of local business and industry leaders gathered inside the Cajundome Convention Center for the ninth annual Entree to Business Breakfast — an annual ABiz production.
Scott says since the “Great Recession” hit in 2007, the nation’s economic recovery has moved at a snail’s pace. The “culprit,” he says, is poor economic policy-making. And though Scott warns that state economies are vulnerable to national policy, Louisiana, and especially Acadiana, are poised for continued above-the-bar growth in the coming years.
“We believe (Acadiana) will be the fastest growing part of the state,” says Scott, noting the region is experiencing an average 3.5 percent annual rate of growth and is expected to add an extra 11,000 jobs in the next few years.
But the region is not immune to negatives, he says, pointing to the recent loss of Transcomm and a U.S. Postal Service announcement made earlier this year that its Lafayette distribution center is one of eight slated for closure.
Fortunately, according to Scott’s forecasts, the positives for Louisiana’s economic future seem to outweigh the negatives.
He says the Gulf of Mexico “is back,” and with the price of oil up and likely to stay that way, that means drilling. Scott says the number of deepwater rigs is finally approaching pre-BP spill numbers, and despite a more complex application process, the issuance of permits also is on the rise.
The price of natural gas is on the decline — a trend Scott predicts will continue — and the number of rigs operating out of the once-hot Haynesville Shale in north Louisiana has dropped by 80 percent over the last year. Yet, he says Louisiana’s economy is still poised to reap the benefits of natural gas production, both statewide and nationally. Scott says the low price of natural gas is causing a spike in demand from chemical and energy producers and other countries, meaning a rise is coming in the business of exportation.
|photos by Robin May|
Nationally, Scott says the United States has mistakenly responded to the recession by using Europe as a model for its economic policy. Wells Fargo, he notes, is forecasting the nation’s Real Gross Domestic Product won’t exceed a quarterly growth rate of 2.5 percent through 2014.
“These growth rate numbers are pitiful,” says Scott. “This is the worst recovery from any recession since the Great Depression.”
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.