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A mid-April report by a company versed in providing well-grounded economic analysis is projecting "continued expansion for the next five years" for U.S., Texas and Texarkana area economies.

The forecast, by the Perryman Group, covers the years 2017-22.

"I am projecting that around 3,500 jobs will be added to the Texarkana area over the next five years at an annual rate of 1.54 percent," Dr. Ray Perryman said. "Most of this employment growth will come from the services and trade sectors."

The U.S., Texas and Texarkana Metropolitan Statistical Area are on track to experience positive growth over the next five years, he said. "Although countless issues could alter the course of the economy in a heartbeat, I am optimistic about what lies ahead for the U.S., Texas and the local area."

Heading into 2018, Perryman expects a 4.5 percent increase in gross domestic product in the Tyler metropolitan area, versus a 4 percent increase across all of Texas, and a 2.9 percent increase in the national gross domestic product.

Tyler is 115 miles southwest of Texarkana.

The biggest growth sectors in the Tyler area are expected to be mining at 6.3 percent, information at 4.9 percent and services at 4.3 percent. The area will add about 11,700 jobs, led by the service sector.

Perryman, who is president and CEO of the Waco-Texas firm, has more than 40 years of experience in developing systems, analyzing complex problems and communicating effectively.

According to him, the U.S. economy is performing well and should continue to expand over the next several years.

"There are always factors that could shift performance, but all in all, I think the country will gain economic strength over the short term," he said.

Output (real gross product) in the U.S. is forecast to grow by about 2.89 percent annually and will reach $19.3 trillion in 2022, according to the report. The U.S. labor market is improving, and about 11.7 million net new jobs are expected to be added at a pace of 1.5 percent yearly during the short-term forecast period. This will bring total 2022 employment to 159.1 million.

"Even though some communities are still in the recovery process from Hurricane Harvey, the overall Texas economy is expanding at a solid pace," he said.

"Texas went through a really bad storm last year, but it's coming back strong," Perryman said. "Conditions are improving in the energy industry, manufacturing is expanding, and the state continues to have one of the most attractive business climates in the country."

During the next five years, the state's output is forecast to increase by 4.01 percent annually, reaching $1.9 trillion in 2022. An estimated 1.4 million net new jobs are projected for Texas by 2022, representing a 2.05 percent yearly growth rate. Services industries will drive job gains, with wholesale and retail trade businesses also forecast to see notable hiring.

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