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Lawton's economic forecast good for 2009

Lawton_Lawton's economy is right on track. It may be even better than usual. That's what a researcher from Oklahoma State University said Thursday in his economic forecast for the city for 2009. When much of the rest of the country is on a steady downward spiral, he said Lawton will continue to see growth. Job growth in Lawton is about twice the rate of Oklahoma City. And in the coming year, job growth rates will far outpace the state and the rest of the country.

  In the next couple years, an influx of people are coming to Lawton. "The transition at Fort Sill is really ready to transform the city. We've been talking about it, reading about it, and waiting for it but we're on the leading edge of it now. It's here," said Dr. Mark Snead.

  To make room for the thousands more, there will be more of everything. "You'll see an increase in the job base, but that translates into retail sales increases. You'll see a lot of the industries that are consumer spending driven expand at a pretty rapid rate."

  He said you'll see another surge in housing prices. That's not all. "Everything from the full range of retail to professional and business services. Everything that's household spending driven," said Snead. Those all in addition to the pluses he said Lawton already has. "A good cost of living, you know Lawton in general just being a good place to live and work and raise a family, you have a set of conditions that are propelling it."

  On top of that, he says energy prices may go way down, too.  "If that won't get you excited, nothing will. You're in a great state. The state as a whole is doing well. This portion of the state is doing particularly well. The data suggests it's going to get even better. So somewhat an ideal case," said Snead.

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