States See Energy Boom Along With Economic Expansion

By: - September 11, 2018 12:00 am

Oil pumps near Lovington, New Mexico. An energy boom in Southwestern states may be feeding a national surge in economic activity. Charlie Riedel/The Associated Press

An oil and gas bonanza in Southwestern states may be helping to drive the continuing national economic boom.

The nation’s 4.2 percent growth in GDP, estimated last month by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, is the highest quarterly growth since 2014. State estimates aren’t due until mid-November, but many experts see oil and natural gas drilling, driven by higher prices, as a leading reason.

“The states that contribute most might be the ones with strong increases in energy production,” including Texas, New Mexico and Colorado, said Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan and an economic analyst for the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute. GDP measures gross domestic product, or the value of all goods and services produced in a given period of time.

Oil and gas industries benefited from rising prices over the past two years, prompting more production and jobs. Production increased by nearly half in New Mexico over the past year, 29 percent in Texas and Colorado, and 19 percent in North Dakota and Oklahoma, according to federal figures as of June. Natural gas production surged in Louisiana as well.

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Tim Henderson
Tim Henderson

Tim Henderson covers demographics for Stateline. He has been a reporter at the Miami Herald, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Journal News.