Amarillo economists hopeful for 2013

Local economists say the area had a relatively good year, primarily driven by the housing market. Prices have increased slightly and housing inventory is small.ã??

Economists believe the low inventory will spark new housing development. Happy State Bank Chief Operating Officer, David Norris said the bank gave more mortgages to consumers this year than at any time in the past.ã??

Agriculture was a mixed bag with commodity prices rising but drought affects hitting many producers.ã??

However, the oil and gas industry is booming in the Eastern Panhandle because of new technologies. That boom is expected to affect retail and the medical industry in the Amarillo area.ã??

Amarillo National Bank Senior Vice President William J. Ware said 2013 may start off sluggish due to fiscal cliff worries, but he expects the economy to pick up after that.