Chip Gilmour’s five takeaways from Lubbock National Bank’s September Lubbock Economic Index … and post-election thoughts.
- Another record number for the index – 147.3, up from 146.7 in August and up from 144.2 from September of last year. “It’s great news for Lubbock,” said Chip. “Not many communities can say it. Look what’s happening in Midland, Odessa, Big Spring – we have no boom and bust and utility costs are under control.”
- “Oil is inching up, which should help Texas avoid a recession,” said Chip.
- “Cotton is up 14.8 percent, September over September, which is good compared to last year – still below recent higher levels. But it’s moving in the right direction,” he said.
- The impact of rising Obamacare costs are showing up locally and nationally. The Lubbock Consumer Price Index showed a 3.9 percent increase in September over the same month a year before for healthcare costs. “I went to get a haircut and my barber said she was paying $348 a month under Obamacare and now it was going up to $667,” said Chip. “She can’t afford that.” And that’s linked to…
- Retail sales were down 6.3 percent this September over September of last year. So if the Lubbock economy is doing so well, why are retail sales down? “Part of it was people waiting for the election and the impact of healthcare,” said Chip.
Even though the results of the presidential election are not in the index, Chip was optimistic the economy will be stimulated because he thinks the “Trump Administration will do their best to reduce taxes on business and individuals and what that means for 401Ks and investment portfolios.”
“This is an exciting opportunity for many of us,” he said, mentioning the immediate and positive uptick in the stock markets.
He cautioned, though, there are major challenges of unraveling Obamacare.
“That will be very tricky … to pull back spiraling costs of health care,” Chip said.
“It will be very interesting to see how his administration is accepted throughout the world,” he said.
“I can’t help but be optimistic. We have too many government regulations. Many are not necessary and restrictive to business growth and affect everyone’s personal pocketbook. It should stimulate hiring and make additional jobs available.
“All that said … we should have a lot better clue in six months than right now,” said Chip.
Lubbock National Bank Senior Vice President Chip Gilmour briefs local media each month on the report.
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To see the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal story, click here