While business has been booming in DFW over the course of the past year, the economy has begun to show signs of slowing down. In an event held by the Plano Chamber of Commerce last month, Robert Kaplan, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas expressed concerns over the future of Texas’s economy. Although optimistic overall, Kaplan still emphasized weak areas and how we, as individuals, can help stimulate economic growth.
“Financial conditions have notably tightened in the past two or three months,” Kaplan said, noting a widening of credit gaps from October to December, and a decline in home sales. “When it’s tough to borrow, either in the securities market and ultimately from banks, what that means is that people are going to grow less [capital expenditures.]”
Kaplan also noted that the phenomenon of technology replacing people in the workplace could also inhibit economic growth, citing Uber, Amazon and Airbnb as entities limiting spending power.
While the local economy slowed down during the last quarter of 2018, Kaplan believes that the metroplex’s recent growth will spark an economic boom.
“We’re growing more slowly than we were [economically,] but the reality is that the prospects for this state are very bright because of population growth,” Kaplan said, adding that there’s not a week that goes by where he “meets a CEO who isn’t thinking about moving here.”
Kaplan believes that by honing basic skills at a young age, children will have the skills they need to help understand and grow the economy once they are adults.
“Education is at the top of the list [of priorities,]” Kaplan said, noting that one in three first graders are reading behind grade level. “We’ve got to improve math, science and reading.”
At the Chamber meeting, Kaplan predicted that the first half of 2019 will look dramatically different from the latter half of 2018, in terms of economic growth.
With the DFW metroplex only projected to grow in terms of population and business opportunities, a resurge in economic growth is absolutely possible, however, an understanding of economic and financial literacy is essential moving forward.