UL economic forecast details sharp drop in activity for the first half of 2020


LAFAYETTE, Louisiana – The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s College of Business released its quarterly report Louisiana Economic Activity Forecast this shows how much economic activity has declined in the first half of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forecasts indicate that economic activity should pick up in the second half of the year. However, the pace of recovery in Louisiana is expected to be slower than that of the nation.

The report is compiled by Gary Wagner, Acadiana Business Economist at UL Lafayette, and shows that the state’s economy contracted at an annualized rate of 6.6% in the first quarter of the year as the economy national economy entered its first official recession since 2008.

According to forecasts, the state lost more than 218,000 jobs as the unemployment rate rose to 13% between the first and second quarters of 2020. Consumer spending and job openings in Louisiana also remain strong. below historical standards.

By the end of 2020, baseline projections indicate that the state’s economy will be 7.3% smaller than it was at the end of 2019, the report says.

But compared to his 2020: Q2 forecast, the outlook for state tax collection and house prices has improved. The forecast calls for a 2.2% increase in house prices between the last quarter of 2019 and the last quarter of 2020.

Each metropolitan statistical region is also expected to experience positive employment growth in the second half of 2020. However, this employment growth is not expected to be robust enough to offset the losses in the first half of the year.

Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and the New Orleans metropolitan areas all saw Q1-Q2 job losses of more than 10%. The Baton Rouge region is expected to experience the state’s strongest job growth in the coming quarters.

You can read the full forecast below.

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