The latest economic output data indicates Lafayette is still in flux as it recovers from the economic impact of the pandemic. We’re gaining ground, but not as quickly as we need.
From 2020 to the end of the second quarter, they’ll have reaped more than $85 billion, according to estimates, and the gains are forecast to continue at least through the rest of this year.
It’s a vindication of the sector’s new business model that prizes profits over production growth. For consumers, it’s a sign that shale is no longer willing to fund money-losing drilling projects that ensured years of ample crude and natural gas supplies.
Lafayette can’t count on the industries that have powered its growth in the past. We need to pivot, and we have the tools to do it.
Data from the first quarter of the year has UL economist Gary Wagner forecasting a bad situation getting worse for Louisiana’s economy:
The state’s real gross domestic product fell by 4.3% on an annualized basis in the first quarter of this year, almost three times steeper than the U.S. economy. Only five other states posted a sharper contraction.
“It’s probably hard to imagine a report that’s worse right now,” said Gary Wagner, an economist at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, who found declines in almost every state and many industries. “I think there’s a 50-50 chance we’re in a recession.”
The energy sector, in Louisiana and the world at large, is still recovering from the decline in demand from the coronavirus pandemic combined with supply collusion from foreign oil suppliers
We could see more activity in Acadiana from the service and manufacturing companies, but we’re still going to have higher prices, say two local economists.
Brandon Ballengée’s “Art of Loneliness” offers an emotional preview to a world without the diverse creatures that bring us such wonder now.
Over the next month, The Current will host a series of Listening Sessions with folks on the front lines. We want to bring together people with different, even opposing, views to dig deeper into this important discussion.
Few will admit it out loud: What has been Lafayette’s most important economic sector will likely never recover the ground it lost.
The PSC, which has limited oversight of LUS Fiber, shut down any further scrutiny of a pending self-report from December 2019.