From a small northwestern observatory…

Finance and economics generally focused on real estate

Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans

4/6/09 — Back in the Office

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Was in New Orleans and Baton Rouge last week. The Louisiana economy, which has never been wonderful, none-the-less seems to be handling the current recession better than most. Of course, the whole of the Gulf Coast is still recovering from the disasterous 2005 hurricane season that saw Katrina and Rita — both Category 3 storms at the time of landfall — hit the Louisiana coast within a month of each other. For a synopsis of the real estate research implications of these storms, see my 2007 Journal of Real Estate Literature article with Dr. Sofia Dermisi. You can also get a great synopsis of the economic impacts of these two storms from Louisiana State University’s Geographic Information Center.

According to LSU, about $25 Billion in Federal redevelopment funds have come into that state in the past 3 years, with the bulk of that flowing into the New Orleans area as a result of Katrina. Of course that doesn’t include substantial private settlements, such as the $330 milllion Murphy Oil settlement which Greenfield assisted in negotiating. The accounting for all of these pivate dollar flows will probably never be totalled.

Does that mean Louisiana has recovered from these disasters? Far from it. The state is still in economic turmoil, and current state budget cuts have the potential to eviscerate higher education, further increasing the “brain drain” that Governor Jindal pledged to stop in his campaign.

But, given where Louisiana was, economically, as of about a year ago, one would have expected that the recession would have simply shut down the economy there. Instead, there’s still a wonderful vibrancy in the state. Crops got planted this year, refineries are still in operation, and tourists still flock to the state. Anecdotal reports indicate that building construction has slowed, but not as badly as in some other parts of the country. Louisiana still has economic problems, and like the rest of the country, many of these problems are beyond their direct control. However, they seem to be slowly pulling themselves together.

Written by johnkilpatrick

April 6, 2009 at 12:09 pm

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