Dr. Loren Scott economic outlook for SWLA

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 10:16 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Economist and Forecaster Dr. Loren Scott presented his 2024-2025 economic forecast this evening at the McNeese Seed Center. His annual Louisiana outlook forecast gave attendees some hope for the future.

“This is one of the more optimistic forecasts I’ve ever put out for Lake Charles,” said Scott. “The good news is for Lake Charles, we actually have Lake Charles being the fastest growing metropolitan area in the state; there’s nine of them and we have y’all ranked number one in percentage terms.”

One of the things Dr. Scott says will help the Lake Charles economy is securing liquified natural gas contracts.

“And that really depends very heavily on two to three or four LNG projects pulling the trigger and saying we’re going to build,” said Scott. “If none of them, if none of them pull the trigger then my my forecast would be way too optimistic and I think there’s at least three out there that are very high probability to pull the trigger.”

Another positive is Chennault International Airport, which will be adding several jobs soon.

“Chennault Field is doing very well right now, as a matter of fact, the last time I was here they had just laid off 125, now I think they’re going to be adding 125,” said Scott. “That’s some good contracts out there.”

Dr. Scott says our area received more money for roads than any other area in the state.

“The primary reason for that is 1.5 billion for the new bridge and so I know that that’s kind of up in the air right now, but at least you’ve got, you know, you got a lot of money there and I think that’s going to be very good for the area,” said Scott.

Louisiana can also make natural gas significantly cheaper than Europe and Asia.

“So what is happening is a lot of these firms are moving from Europe and moving from Asia to South Louisiana and Southeast Texas to take advantage of the abundance of natural gas and the cheap natural gas, and so you have chemical firm doing that and then of course, you have here LNG export terminals,” said Scott. “So that’s probably one of the biggest things that happened in the last 10 years.”

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