A recession is coming, but not a severe storm, in Oklahoma
In other words, in terms of weather in Oklahoma, the expected post-coronavirus recession is expected to occur next spring, but it is a thunderstorm warning with minimal expected property damage, not a severe thunderstorm with high winds and widespread destruction.
That’s according to Dana M. Peterson, chief economist at the Conference Board, an economic think tank in New York, and keynote speaker at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s annual State of the Economy event Wednesday at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
She said the Fed, after raising interest rates 11 times over the past 18 months to rein in inflation, is prepared for some “pain” in the economy, but a “short and shallow” recession with “minimal job losses.” In the first half of 2024.
She said many boomers have retired during the COVID-19 crisis, taking their skills with them, while others continue to retire, and work will remain tight. She added that employers are working to retain workers, noting that about 70% of the companies included in the study plan to offer increases in the next year, ranging between 3% and 5%.
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Peterson said the situation “is not going to be like the last two recessions,” neither the sharp decline at the beginning of Covid nor the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
After that, discretionary consumer spending is expected to “come back strong” because it has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels, said Peterson, who leads the Conference Board’s Center for American Economics, Strategy and Finance.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City’s economy continues “real growth” despite the “Fed surplus,” as the Fed aims to keep interest rates “higher for longer,” even if they are not “higher for longer,” to bring inflation down to 2. %, as Mark Snead said. Economist and president of RegionTrack, an OKC-based economic research firm. He was one of four experts on a previous panel.
Pros and cons of the economy of OKC and Oklahoma
Here are some of the highlights from the panel, which also included University of Oklahoma economist Robert Dufenbach; Russell Evans, partner and chief economist at Thorberg Collectorate Inc., an investment management firm in OKC; and Chad Wilkerson, executive director of the Oklahoma City branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Kent Shortridge, vice president of economic development for the Chamber, moderated the session. He asked each of them about the pros and cons of the state and the local economy.
- Daffenbach: positive: Capital District Projects Plan. The maps, in their thirtieth year, “should be studied as an example of urban place-making.” negative: He said he was “concerned to the point of clinical depression” about the federal government’s “Thelma and Louise fall off the cliff of impotence,” comparing the 1991 road-trip adventure film that ended with the heroes falling to their deaths in a car to their deaths and its sustainability. Taxes and spending in the United States; Political division. And the possibility of another federal government shutdown. Such a division “could destroy us locally,” he said.
- Evans: Positive (partial): The country’s GDP is “what it was five years ago,” not worse. negative: He warned against complacency regarding economic success and “how far we are achieving.” Quality of life requirements are not met. “Just this week a young analyst in my office said, ‘I feel like there’s a penalty for living in Oklahoma City’ rather than some other big city,” Evans said.
- Wilkerson: positive: Unemployment remains near historic lows in OKC (3.2%) and the state (3%). negative: Housing costs have risen significantly, but not by as much, and are still less expensive than elsewhere, primarily because they were below the national average in the first place.
- Sinead: positive: Retail sales are “hanging in there.” Manufacturing and engineering show their strength, and the quality of life is improved. negative: The Fed has kept interest rates high, and weakness in the energy sector, which Dufenbach said has fallen to a workforce of 31,000 from a peak of 63,000 in 2014.
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