In my last article I talked about the economy. It just so happens that I attended the Inland Empire Economic Forecast Conference last week. Normally I do not dwell on a subject over two consecutive articles, but I came away with a few interesting bits of information to share. I promise no more economy articles after this for the rest of the year.
First off, the immediate outlook is things will continue to get better. Good news. There was some concern expressed about the recovery in housing prices. As I mentioned last month we are leading the state in that category. This may not be a good thing if the trend continues. We could end up with another crash if prices climb too fast for too long.
Another interesting point addressed is why many are still saying “what recovery?” A recent CNN poll shows that only 38% of Americans believe that the economy is in good shape. It is true that jobs are up and unemployment is down. The difference between now and 2005 is where the jobs are. Jobs requiring higher levels of education such as healthcare and technology are recovering much faster than sectors such as manufacturing, retail, and construction. So a lot of people are still hurting. On a related side note to this office jobs are up, but he demand for office space is down. This is due to more people telecommuting. With the freeways as crowded as ever I wonder if these people are working out of their cars.
The topic of California’s not-so-business friendly environment was also discussed. Ok, it’s the worst in the nation. Of course we need to continue doing what we can to improve things. Throughout the discussion one point rang true; the California climate and amenities still make this state a desirable place to be overall. Since it is difficult to control what is happening in Sacramento, the Inland Empire needs to also focus on making our region the most business friendly within the state. Hopefully we can have a bit more success in that regard. With higher education levels in demand, we are well positioned with a strong system of local colleges and universities.
All this talk of economics inspired me to come up with my own theory: the Trickle up-down-left-right Theory. The underlying principle of this theory is that if you shop Redlands first, the benefits will spread in all directions, including circling back around to you. As we enter into this 2014 holiday season, keep this theory in mind and look right here to find what you need. Have a great Thanksgiving!