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.”
Amount generated by the state’s 2013 tax amnesty program, more than double some estimates
The agency previously had said the program raked in more than the $200 million used to balance the budget, but hadn't given a final tally of what was collected and what still was available for spending.
The board is scheduled to vote Friday on proposals from Alleva to make 150 different changes to prices for tickets and parking across university sports events.
Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased to 1,782.
This weekend’s happenings include the 25th Anniversary show of Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys, and holiday performances of The Nutcracker and Letters to Santa.
It took a unanimous vote of the Youngsville City Council this week to compel Mayor Wilson Viator to pay some $7,500 in bills to a host of vendors used by the city’s fire department, some of whom hadn’t been paid in months.
America is lost, says state Sen. Elbert Guillory, and that’s the reason he’ll be running for Lieutenant Gov. come 2015.
NOLA Bowl game day outfits
Accept no substitutions for homemade Eggnog
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, December 13, 2013:
September's $509 million in sales pushed Lafayette Parish's nine-month total to $4.4 billion.
The Louisiana Supreme Court has punted on its first chance to decide whether a new state constitutional provision declaring gun possession a fundamental right could void a long list of criminal statutes that regulate firearms.
New Orleans' offense, which ranks sixth in the NFL, isn't helping many of its skill players pile up Pro Bowl-type stats. Rather, the approach of coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees has enabled a wide range of play-makers to emerge periodically with high-production outings.
An ordinance phasing out a rebate businesses receive for collecting and remitting sales taxes is tabled, but it doesn’t solve the vexing issue of government revenue.
From jewelry to home goods, deals abound
Forgiving shapes for NOLA Bowl
As part of a national undertaking known by industry insiders as the “Butterfly Project,” a rebranded version of The Daily Advertiser is set to launch with Sunday’s edition of the Gannett-owned paper.
Louisiana moved up a slot to 48th in the ranking of healthy states — once again, thank God for Mississippi! — so all this frettin’ about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid per Obamacare ... fuggidaboutit! We don’t need Medicaid no more!
The Denham Springs woman who placed Christmas lights in the shape of a butter finger on her roof in a display of anger directed at neighbors has doubled the trouble for the 2013 holiday season.
The New Orleans architect behind the 1984 World’s Fair also left his mark on Lafayette.