MCALLEN, RGV – Having recently overtaken El Paso Metropolitan Statistical Area in size, the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA is now being included in economist Ray Perryman’s analysis of the largest metropolitan areas in Texas.

In his latest newsletter, Perryman provides a long-term economic forecast for Texas’ biggest metro areas. For the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA, Perryman writes:

Ray Perryman
Ray Perryman

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA recently surpassed El Paso for the sixth most populous city in Texas. The area has added 8,200 net new jobs over the past year ending in September (a 3.3 percent annual growth rate).

Education and health services led the employment growth after adding 4,900-net jobs (a 7.4 percent growth rate).

Some of this growth in the area and several other border cities is tied to the recent positive economic performance in Mexico following structural reforms; however, there is a lot of uncertainty over Texas’ relationship with our largest trading partner following the election of Donald Trump (see the Perryman Perspective in this issue).

The Valley is poised to see healthy growth over the long-term horizon. The area is projected to have an annual growth rate of 1.75 percent, or nearly 145,000 jobs, through 2040. Output is forecast to expand at a 3.25 percent annual growth rate for a total increase of $21.6 billion.

The newsletter also includes an op-ed Perryman recently penned about what a Donald Trump presidency might do for the economy and international markets. It is titled ‘The Recent Presidential Election (aka Brexit – On Steroids!). The newsletter notes the op-ed has received a lot of interest. In the op-ed, Perryman recalls a famous quote by former New York Governor Mario Cuomo: that leaders “campaign in poetry” but “govern in prose.”

Noting that Trump tended to campaign in angry soundbites, Perryman wrote: “It remains to be seen how he governs. His prescriptions were often inconsistent, but the major ones, if truly implemented, would be disastrous. If the U.S. were to suddenly begin deporting people by the millions, denying rights to millions of citizens, cancelling trade agreements, failing to honor treaties, dismantling the health care system, and a dozen other proposals shouted out loud, we would see an economic calamity that would make the 1930s look like a walk in the park, not to mention a social and human crisis of even greater proportions.”

Perryman is president and CEO of The Perryman Group, an economic research and analysis firm based in Waco, Texas. He is also a distinguished professor of economic theory and method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies. The Perryman Group has served the needs of more than 2,000 clients, ranging from major corporations and Fortune 500 companies to small startups; and from local communities to the federal government. Perryman’s expert opinions have helped shape public policy and important legal decisions.

For more information on The Perryman Group click here.

Ruszczak’s View

One Rio Grande Valley economic development leader who does not believe the devaluation of the Peso will dramatically impact the Valley’s economy is Matt Ruszczak, executive director of Rio South Texas Economic Council. He told the Rio Grande Guardian:

“The November report from the Comptroller’s Office on sales tax revenues will show us the immediate aftermath of the impact of the election. Those figures will be available in the January report. I will tell you that I am not too terribly worried. In September, we kissed 20 and our numbers were quite steady, even positive for Hidalgo County. That gives us some encouragement. If the Peso stays in the 20-22 percent range, where it is currently fluctuating, I am moderately optimistic that the impact will be limited.”

Matt Ruszczak
Matt Ruszczak

Ruszczak said he is pleased with the resilience the Valley economy is currently showing.

“What a long way the Valley as a whole has come. The numbers show the inherent economic strength our region has. One and half million-people living in the Valley, plus, all our neighbors from the south who come over and visit and shop and participate in our economy. It really speaks volumes as to how resilient and strong we are, particularly if you compare ourselves to our neighbors to the North and to the West,” Ruszczak said.

“We are coming out quite favorably in terms of trends, compared to the whole state. So, a big compliment to all who are involved in this; from the small business owner to the investors, to the consumers and the folks who are working hard and making a living for their family. Everybody plays a critical role in strengthening this region and the strength is showing up in these numbers.”