A new report released has shown that the economy in Abilene has been growing quite a bit. It’s been a full year of growth, as a matter of fact. And much of the credit for the economy growth is given to consumer spending.

I would have assumed that a lot of the growth over the past year could be attributed specifically to hail damage, and the cost to repair homes, cars, and other property. An easy assumption, since Abilene saw a lot of new, temporary businesses roll into town to help with hail damage repairs.

But that’s not necessarily the reason for the economic upswing. Much of the credit for the economic growth is extremely high in auto sales, not repairs. New apartment and single-family home construction – not repairs on existing structures – were also reported to be on a considerable upswing. Existing home sales are also on the rise.

It’s hard to argue with an entire year of upticks in the Abilene economy, but it’s also hard to tell how much has it really affected residents of Abilene. I’ve noticed there are new local businesses opening, but I’ve seen a good share of businesses close in the past few months, too.

Are you noticing a rise in the local economy? Are you spending more money now than you were a year ago?