The 2012 economic forecast

| Print |  Email
Articles - December 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
1211_WhatsAhead_04Despite many of the more pessimistic factors coloring the coming year — and not considering any major unexpected events, such as the Japanese tsunami that rippled through the world economy in 2011 — the overall outlook still calls for very modest economic growth in the U.S. and in Oregon in 2012 of about 2% to 3%. The prospect of another recession has some economists, like Duy, worried. Others are a little more optimistic if still a bit wary.

“We are pretty much two years into this recovery,” Potiowsky says. “I don’t believe that we’re going to fall back into a recession, but this slow, agonizing growth is going to be with us through 2012.”

In Oregon, there are several bright areas that have not only done well in recent times, but are likely to continue to remain strong in the year ahead. The state’s exports are almost back to their pre-recession level and in 2010 were up more than 18% over the prior year. Exports of computer processors and integrated circuits from the likes of Intel continue to top the list by far, but other exports, such as aircraft parts, scrap metal and wood, have all increased as well. That growth could taper a bit in 2012, but it should still remain strong.

Manufacturing has also seen some uptick as well. According to the Oregon Employment Department, there were 167,500 manufacturing jobs in Oregon in September 2011, an increase of almost 4% over last year. At the end of October, Daimler Trucks North America announced it was hiring 350 new factory workers and 75 people for its Portland headquarters after sales of its heavy trucks increased. Similarly, Precision Castparts, a Portland manufacturer of metal parts for the aerospace and other industries, announced a surge in second quarter sales and plans for new hiring in the near future. Intel, too, has surged ahead with construction of its new research facility in Hillsboro, which will employ up to 8,000 construction workers over the next two years and create 800 to 1,000 new jobs when it opens in 2013.

“A lot of our leading traded sector companies are more bullish by the day,” says Ryan Deckert, president of the Oregon Business Association. “They are expanding, not retrenching. It’s more like the late 1990s.”

Deckert, who met with officials from Facebook in October to talk about their investment in Oregon and their operation in Prineville, says the state’s apparel cluster — comprising companies like Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Keen and Icebreaker — shows no signs of slowing down.

“The customers are out there, and [the companies] are winning the battles with the competition everywhere,” Deckert says. “Our sports apparel companies are just really good. Customers from around the world have choices, and they like our brands.”

Leisure and hospitality jobs have been on the rise, and Potiowsky says some pent-up consumer spending might continue to help that sector in 2012. That’s good, Duy notes, but the flip side is that those jobs are relatively low-wage.

Although housing is down and will continue to be in 2012, there have been some gains in multi-family housing as the demand for rental units has increased.

“We’re seeing a little bit of life in new apartment construction,” Cortright says. “It’s small, but it’s something.”

 



 

More Articles

Will Medford Ever Be Cool?

February 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
BY DAN COOK | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A real-estate developer and a Lithia Motors executive aim to revamp the city's forlorn downtown.


Read more...

Taking the lead in boosting Oregonians’ health and strengthening our economy

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, January 08, 2015
0108-injection-thumbBY CAMBIA HEALTH SOLUTIONS & OREGON BUSINESS COUNCIL | OP-ED

Businesses have a significant stake in the health of Oregonians. In fact, we cannot succeed without it. By committing to using our companies as levers for good health, we invest in our people, our business, our quality of life and our economy. 


Read more...

The city as startup

Guest Blog
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
011415 citystartup-thumbBY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Startups in the growth phase are associated with a fresh infusion of capital — human and financial — a curiosity factor and products to disrupt the market and drive demand. Portland’s economy gives off the same aroma.


Read more...

Closing the Gap: The two Oregons and the way forward

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

"Nostalgia is not an economic strategy."


Read more...

Old school: Paulsen's Pharmacy maintains old fashion ethos

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121914-pharmacy-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Under the radar — complete with a soda counter, the traditional Paulsen's Pharmacy looks to compete with big box retailers.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Tortoise and the Hare

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015

The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average. 


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS