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Booming Amarillo economy forecasted for 2013

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AMARILLO - The Amarillo economy is forecasted for growth in 2013, despite the drought that continues to plague the panhandle.

The numbers for 2012 show impressive growth and improvement in the local economy, and that growth is not expected to stop any time soon.

Amarillo National Bank is forecasting growth in nearly every aspect of the city's diverse economy. Retail, the oil boom, and the housing market are the three main headliners to look out for.
      
Though the panhandle's oil industry in based mostly in the outlying areas of Canadian, Perryton and Wheeler, that money makes it's way into the Amarillo economy with retail and service sales.

"It boosts a lot of people's incomes," said Senior Vice President of Amarillo National Bank, Patrick Ware. "They'll come to  Amarillo and hopefully spend that money and really kick start the economy."

The oil boom does not compare to the Midland-Odessa area. But experts say that's a good thing because it boosts our economy without inflating prices.

"We are producing a lot of crude oil that we didn't produce two years ago, three years ago," said Executive Vice President of Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association, Wayne Hughes. "All in all, we've got a very bright future as an industry in this part of the world."

More economic success in Amarillo lies within the housing market. Home sales are so successful that home builders are running out of plots to build on within city limits.

"Our new construction, it's continuing to climb. We are starting a little bit short on lots. The city's aware of it and I think they're working on that. So that may be a limiting factor at the end of 2013," said Amarillo Association of Realtors member, Gary Papay.

Home sales in Amarillo rose by more that 300 last year, and more homeowners spent money improving their homes which raised the average home value.

With mortgage and interest rates expected to stay low, those trends are likely to continue.

"Our economy is attractive to people from all over the country. We're very business friendly. We have a good climate, when it does rain again, which it will rain again," said Ware.

 Both Ware and Papay attribute the success of Amarillo's economy to the diversity of industry in the city.That's why it's expected to be a booming 2013, despite the lingering drought.

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