Southwest Economy, Second Quarter 2021
Second Quarter 2021
- Federal COVID-19 relief aided consumer debt, though immigrant Texans derived less benefit
Wenhua Di and Chloe Smith
U.S. and Texas residents shored up their household finances during the COVID-19 recession. The prevalence of various federal-level assistance programs helped boost savings and broadly reduce debt. Among mostly immigrant groups, this tendency was less pronounced, likely due to legal and socioeconomic barriers.
- Texas winter deep freeze broke refining, petrochemical supply chains
It may take the Texas petrochemical industry until year-end 2021 to fully recover from the record cold that triggered power outages and supply disruptions in mid-February. Production of basic petrochemical products used in a range of intermediate and consumer goods was interrupted, breaking supply chains already strained by COVID-19 and leading to price pressures and scores of product shortages.
- Texas restaurants find change on postpandemic menu
On the record: A conversation with Emily Williams Knight
Emily Williams Knight, president and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association, discusses how the dining industry survived COVID-19 and the changes that have occurred.
- Banks face new challenges as Texas rebounds from COVID-19 shock
Amy Chapel, Kory Killgo and Kelly Klemme
The banking industry faced significant challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with profitability declining to levels not seen since the 2008–09 financial crisis. While strong economic growth during 2021 is expected as the economy reopens, some credit deterioration and losses are still possible as fiscal stimulus and national forbearance programs end.
- Spotlight: Oil patch productivity rises; jobs vanish
Garrett Golding and Sean Howard
After major oil price busts in 2014 and 2020, the same engineering prowess that helped the oil and gas industry thrive has been driven to find efficiencies to lower operating costs. The result: Fewer workers are needed to produce the same oil and gas output.
- Go figure: Women took brunt of pandemic job loss as priorities shifted to home
Design: Olumide Eseyin; Content: Camila L. Holm, Yichen Su
Working women fared worse than men in the pandemic—a reversal from the Great Recession
- President’s perspective
Robert S. Kaplan
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.
Visit dallasfed.org/research/swe to read the full publication. The podcast is available at dallasfed.org/research/swe/podcast.