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Southwest Economy, First Quarter 2020

First Quarter 2020
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  • Mexico’s higher costs under USMCA may potentially offset gains from China-related trade spurt with U.S.
    Daniel Chiquiar, Jesus Cañas, Armando Aguirre and Alfonso Cebreros
    Approval of the United States–Mexico– Canada Agreement (USMCA) could change trade within the North American region, affecting output and weakening North America’s global competitiveness. At the same time, while Mexico is achieving some temporary gains arising from trade tension between the U.S. and China, it stands to incur a substantial overall long-term economic cost.
  • Mexico seeks to reduce consumers' longstanding reliance on cash
    Michael Perez
    Cash is king when it comes to completing transactions in Mexico. Unlike the U.S., where consumers opt to pay with debit and credit cards or via apps, Mexico and its large informal economy continue to rely on hard cash. A new digital payment platform from the nation’s central bank aims to reduce the role of currency.
  • Groundwater markets slowly evolve in ever-thirstier Texas
    Keith R. Phillips and Judy Teng
    Texas’ growing population is increasing the demand for water, a commodity that in many parts of the state is subject to wide swings from abundance during wet cycles to shortfall during droughts. Water markets offer one way to help meet some of the growing need. However, legal challenges and a variety of government entities overseeing water use complicate water markets’ applicability.
  • Policy changes could boost women’s participation in U.S. workforce
    On the record: A conversation with Fang Yang
    Fang Yang, associate professor of economics at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, discusses the labor market impacts of tax policy, an evolving U.S. workforce, the effects of gender and an aging population.
  • Spotlight: Permian Basin’s shale-era oil production rises even as rig count falls
    Emma Marshall and Jesse Thompson
    A change in the number of active drilling rigs is no longer the reliable predictor for near-term oil production growth that it once was.
  • Go figure: Migrant apprehensions at U.S.–Mexico border spike in 2019
    Design: Justin Chavira; Content: Carlee Crocker, Pia Orrenius and Chloe Smith
    Apprehensions of migrants at the U.S. southern border surged in spring 2019.
  • Snapshot: COVID-19 hits manufacturers
    Texas factory activity declined sharply as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak took hold in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.
  • Fed Chairman Jerome Powell comments on FOMC rate cut
    Excerpt from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s statement following the Federal Open Market Committee’s emergency reduction of the federal funds rate to a range of 0–0.25 percent, March 15, 2020.

Southwest Economy is published quarterly by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas or the Federal Reserve System.

Articles may be reprinted on the condition that the source is credited to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.