Written By: Deborah Barron
Nathaniel Karp, Chief Economist with BBVA Compass, joined the WFE on January 21st to provide an overview of US economic outlook for 2016.

Nathaniel indicated a modest world GDP growth due to slowdown of emerging economies and a more tepid recovery in developed economies. He expects a global rebalancing as a result of a weakening China spilling into world markets. With a strong dollar, there is downside pressure on exports and foreign profits. While rig counts and oil prices are on the decline, the upside is a sharp increase in real income and in energy intensive industries like transportation and utilities.

Houston has experienced remarkable performance in recent years but the net job creation has stalled and unemployment is starting to increase. Houston’s residential market will slow down as a result. However, Texas, and specifically Houston, are a top destination for foreign direct investment and are counted among some of the fastest growing developed economies.
BBVA Compass is a leading U.S. banking franchise with operations throughout the Sunbelt region and it ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share. BBVA Compass operates 688 branches in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. It ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). In addition, BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders.

WFE members and guests were provided with useful insights on both the global markets as well state and city forecasts. While there is great uncertainty in the view ahead there were also some bright spots. Thanks to Nathaniel and BBVA Compass for the comprehensive presentation.