St. Cloud State Economist and Dean, School of Public Affairs, King Banaian joined me on WJON today.  He says gas prices will continue to rise in the short term due largely to the affect that weather had on refineries in Texas.  Banaian says he doesn't expect prices to exceed $3 dollars a gallon but it could get close by this summer.  He says there appears to be an increase in demand for gas this spring with more and more people choosing to do driving vacations.  Listen to our conversation below.

 

Many economists expect 2021 to be a good year for the economy.  Banaian agrees and says stimulus checks and a desire for people to return to some normalcy coming out of the pandemic will trigger spending and benefit many industries including bars and restaurants, hotels, the airline industry and movie theaters.  He says one of the unintended consequences of the pandemic was more and more people finding out they could work efficiently from home.  Banaian says business travel may never return to pre-pandemic levels which would hurt hotel weekday capacities and during the week airline travel.

The housing industry wasn't hit as hard by the pandemic according to Banaian.  He says many people chose to not move and instead invested in remodeling their homes.  King says eventually we'll see people chose to move but with people being able to work remotely the normal requirement to work in the state you live in for some jobs may no longer exist.

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