Texas comptroller predicts slow, steady economic turnaround post-pandemic

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar spoke to members of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce on May 27 about what the state's post-pandemic economic turnaround might look like. (Screenshot of May 27 virtual luncheon)
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar spoke to members of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce on May 27 about what the state's post-pandemic economic turnaround might look like. (Screenshot of May 27 virtual luncheon)

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar spoke to members of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce on May 27 about what the state's post-pandemic economic turnaround might look like. (Screenshot of May 27 virtual luncheon)

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said at a May 27 virtual luncheon that the state entered the era of the coronavirus in a healthy financial situation, which bodes well for the future as reopening continues, but that Texans are not out of the woods yet.

Record numbers of people are filing for unemployment, and the tourism, hospitality, dining and retail industries are being hit the hardest, Hegar said during the webinar, which was hosted by the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Nearly 60% of all state tax collections are from sales tax, he said, so a slowdown in these businesses has a drastic impact on the health of the state’s economy.

“Looking at unemployment numbers, this is not going to be a quick recovery,” he said.

Data for March sales was not received until this month, so Hegar's office is looking at “nontraditional data points” to analyze the revenue numbers being collected and determine how to move forward while best supporting small businesses where they are now.

“Small businesses are the economic engine for creativity, for job gains,” Hegar said.



The comptroller’s office is working on a case-by-case basis with businesses and will give an updated revenue forecast in July, Hegar said.

Sales tax receipts were down 9.3% year over year last month, and within certain industries, the drops are even more significant: as compared to this time last year, motor vehicle sales are down 45%, hotel stays are down more than 60% and alcohol receipts are down 55%. That trend is expected to continue as more data becomes available, he said.


However, the numbers do show some promise: Hotel occupancy was once as low as 21% amid the pandemic, but it has since increased to 32%, he said. Airport travel, which was down as much as 95% year over year in some parts of the state, has also been steadily increasing, he said.

Another factor to consider is the world economy, Hegar said, to which Texas is closely tied since the state produces 19% of the country’s exported goods. Even though Texas has diversified economically, the events of the Russia-Saudi Arabia oil price war contribute to some of the uncertainty around the future of oil and gas jobs in Texas, he said.

“We are very much fundamentally tied to the global economy,” Hegar said. “Some regions of the state may have some type of recessionary impact.”

Overall, Hegar said he expects the state to regain eventually its above-average economic standing, even if it is a slow process.

“The economy, to some degree, is rebounding,” Hegar said. “Texas is going to continue to outpace the national average from an economic perspective.”

By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.


<

MOST RECENT

Graphic by James Inglish/Community Impact Newspaper
Looking inward: Clear Creek ISD uses equity audit findings for student success

Auditors concluded there are unclear definitions around equity in CCISD; economic need has an influence on end-of-year exam performance; and the diversity of CCISD’s student population is not being represented in staff, among other findings. These results are just one piece of the puzzle, district officials emphasized, when it comes to how they approach serving students’ academic, social and emotional needs.

The first-ever Williamson County Fair and Rodeo opens its gates to guests Oct. 21 with live music, carnival rides, food vendors, rodeo events and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo underway; delivery drones coming to Friso and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 22.

The home-style seafood restaurant is inspired by New Orleans cuisine and offers seafood boils, featuring crab, lobster, shrimp, crawfish, clams and mussels. (Courtesy Crafty Crab)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Crafty Crab coming soon to League City and more

Here is a roundup of business-related news from around Clear Lake and League City.

From left: Laura Ryan, Eliza Paul and Craig Raborn discuss the future of the Texas Department of Transportation. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Department of Transportation discusses I-45 expansion, vehicle fatalities at annual event

The Texas Department of Transportation held its fifth annual State of TxDOT event Oct. 21 to discuss the I-45 expansion, plans for the future and safety issues facing Texans.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

Heather Lagrone, Adrienne Holloway, Luis Guajardo, Maya Ford and Charleen Jones sit onstage while Holloway introduces the audience to the Harris County Housing Needs Assessment study on Oct. 19. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kinder Institute housing survey results reveal Harris County's needs

To meet the need for additional, more affordable housing for only 20% of the 500,000 cost-burdened residents, 8,174 housing units would need to be added annually through 2031, according to the study.

The superintendent's target, as approved by the board, is to have 90% of student exclusions fall within district parameters, which are aligned with Texas Education Agency and Texas Department of State Health Services guidelines. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD approves 2021-22 superintendent targets, including COVID-19 exclusion audit

Clear Creek ISD trustees approved a number of 2021-22 targets for Superintendent Eric Williams during an Oct. 11 board of trustees workshop, including one regarding ongoing audits of COVID-19-related exclusions.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.

Mountain bikers and the city are working together to create a short course near Lynn Gripon Park at Countryside. Here, a couple of those bikers test out the course. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
League City, mountain bikers work to create off-road trails

After months of communication, League City officials and residents who are passionate about mountain biking are now working in tandem to create and expand bike courses citywide.

Harris County Commissioners Court's revised redistricting map as of Aug. 31. (Screenshot courtesy Harris County Commissioners Court)
Harris County Commissioners Court to take public comments on redistricting Oct. 21

The meeting will be held at the Harris County Commissioners Court, located at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston, at 4 p.m.