ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Dr. Ray Perryman, president and CEO of the Perryman Group, was the featured speaker at an economic forecast conference in Odessa on Tuesday, and he sees good things in our economic future.

Dr. Perryman predicts that the basin economy will grow at a compounded annual rate of almost 4% which beats the overall Texas economy, which he says is the fastest growing economy in the country.

“I feel very optimistic about the Permian Basin right now. We have a lot of positive things going on right now with the energy industry, not only oil and gas which is our traditional strength, but also renewables, carbon capture, some other things, so we’ll have a more diverse energy industry which is very good,” said Dr. Perryman.

Dr. Perryman also says oil and gas will remain economic drivers for years to come, but that our energy industry is looking to a cleaner future by diversifying. And he says that industry is also investing in the basin community so it continues to grow as well.

“PSP (Permian Strategic Partnership) has put over 150 million dollars into this economy recently, and that’s the major oil companies, and with that they’ve been able to leverage federal money and other money in well over a billion dollars in new investments,” said Dr. Perryman.

But Dr. Perryman also says, the people of the basin are also a reason our economy is taking off. He says Permian Basin residents clearly take pride in where they live and it shows in how they vote.

“Throughout the Permian Basin, major bond issues were approved recently that will improve the school system, and that’s a positive development. We’re getting a big new mental health facility in the Permian Basin. Right now there’s construction everywhere, and that’s kind of inconvenient, but that’s a good thing because it’s bringing the type of transportation infrastructure that we need,” said Dr. Perryman.