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Foreseeing the economy, and its people, in 2016

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Posted by: Bernie Dagenais on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 2:00:00 pm

Many organizations, including The Main Line Chamber of Commerce, present expert speakers this time of year who share their views of how the world, nation and region will fare in the year ahead. Following the 2008-2009 recession, these events were depressing as economists universally concluded we would face a multi-year slog back.

As is the way in economic cycles, the story has gotten better in recent years.

We featured one of my favorite economists, Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics, at our Economic Forecast Breakfast and Annual Meetings in February. In a nearly sold-out event, Mark talked about the steady march toward full employment, predicting we would be there by summer. Unemployment nationally and in Pennsylvania is just under 5 percent. This means employers should sharpen their efforts to retain their top talent.

Zandi also offered that volatile domestic stock markets, which are influenced by global factors like the price of fuel and an economic downturn in China, bely the strength that our companies are showing, If our companies continue to do well, it only makes sense that U.S. markets will stabilize.

A survey conducted by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve and presented by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce concluded that nearly 70 percent of businesses in our region believed economic conditions had improved in 2015.  Labor quality was the top area of concern.

At the City Avenue District’s Futurecast event, developer Bill Glazer of Keystone Property Group presenting an ambitious vision for growth along the corridor – re-energizing a place where people live, work and shop. When asked what was most needed to achieve the dream, the answer Glazer gave was more jobs.

The messages in 2016 confirm that your Chamber’s mission of helping companies connect with business, leadership development and talent is timely as we strive to help our companies thrive.

To read the entire February issue of the Main Line Business Monthly please click here 

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