POSTED: Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 11:19pm
UPDATED: Sunday, December 25, 2011 - 11:40am
EL PASO- After years of economic struggle, El Paso's economy might be headed in the right direction. A new study conducted by UTEP says the El Paso-Las Cruces region is heading in the right direction.
Researchers gathered information regarding the Borderland's different industries, and now the results are in.
UTEP Professor Tom Fullerton says the results of The Boderplex Economic Outlook report show that retail sales in the Borderland are expected to increase by 6 percent. Sales are expected to reach 11 billion dollars in 2012.
"The recovery is by historical standards is moving a little bit slowly in the fourth quarter of 2008 and what was observed throughout 2009. The fact that the economy continues to grow and strengthen is a very welcoming sign,” said Fullerton.
Fullterton says over 10 percent of retail sales in the Sun City are purchases made by shoppers who cross the border from northern Mexico.
"Every year there are a lot of visitors from Mexico who come to El Paso and take advantage of the four major shopping centers as well as the smaller shopping districts that are scattered throughout the city,” said Fullerton.
Fullerton says being on the border helps improve the local economy.
"That's a substantial portion of local retail activity, and it's something that helps economic performance be much stronger than it otherwise would be here in this county and this region,” said Fullerton.
One of the most positive outlooks for economic recovery over the next two years Fullerton says is the housing market. He says that El Paso and Las Cruces are faring better than most of the country.
"That's a big ace in the whole that El Paso enjoys, even though overall incomes are lower here than they are elsewhere in the country, the fact that our housing market has performed relatively well over the course of the last few years, and is expected to improve in 2012 and 2013 is something that other areas of the country are not currently observing,” said Fullerton.
Fullerton also says home prices in El Paso are expected to rise, but says that shouldn't slow down home sales.
National numbers show the housing market is currently at an 18 month high.