As 2011 draws to a close, we can tally some economic progess. Clearly for many industries the level of business activity has improved over 2010. While we worked through a stall at mid year that caused major concern, and media hand wringing, stronger growth trends have re-asserted themselves. Soon we’ll see 2011 retrospectives on TV and in print, along with forecasts for 2012. Locally the Columbian Economic Forecast breakfast is scheduled for January 10th and I suggest you attend. Or tune in January 7 on KKOV 1550 at 10:00 am to the Commercial Real Estate -West radio show as Courtney Sherwood, Business Editor of the Columbian gives us a preview.
We’ll post as more Forecasts are put forward, but one I felt is particulalry compelling is by Dr. Bill Connerly, which he submitted before Thanksgiving. In his Businomics Blog he lays out a case for growth close to 3% this next year. We are not without risks and challenges in this next year, but with the affects of the Feds monetary policy of the past year, and a presidential election in progress, we should see continued slow progress and gains in employment.
Don’t dismiss the anecdotal evidence you are seeing that there is more general economic activity. Driving anywhere in Clark County from Downtown Vancouver, along SR 500, I-5, SR 14, Mill Plain Blvd, 112th Avenue there is construction activity. Many local restaurants are seeing sales levels return to pre recession levels, and count the number of new places opening up. Announcements like SEH expanding their operations here in Clark County, Insitsu constructing a new building in Bingen or Columbia Tech center to develop a new Multi family complex all point to continued growth.