The 2012 economic forecast

| Print |  Email
Articles - December 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Dennie Houle, a business development officer working on the northern Oregon Coast for Business Oregon, says the smaller coastal towns have their own struggles, but promising opportunities have begun to sprout. A stronger fishing industry in Alaska and across the Pacific has recently helped spark the coast’s ship repair business. Portland General Electric has proposed a new natural-gas-fired generation plant in Clatskanie, and the Port of Newport is in the middle of a $10 million project that will add a new commercial fishing dock and a log crane to help load logs being exported from Oregon.

“In some ways, folks are cautiously thinking that the corner maybe has been turned,” Houle says. “I think they see some growth in the next year.”

In Southern Oregon, Holzgang sees a similar outlook and scene. Although Panel Products, a Milwaukie plywood company, closed its Rogue River mill in 2009, Eugene-based Murphy Co. bought it in early 2010 and has since reopened it. It now employs more than 100. Radio Design Group, a small radio frequency products company, also broke ground on a new headquarters and manufacturing center in Grants Pass in April. When completed, the new building will accommodate Radio Design’s plans for growth, including 15 new employees.

“There are little pockets of bright spots where people are having some luck,” Houle says. “I think that we’ll continue to find those as we move into the new year.”

Other companies, he adds, may not be hiring or doing as well as they once did, but they’ve continued to invest in equipment and facilities so that they’re ready to go if and when the tide does finally turn.

One other factor that could also impact the business and economic climate in Oregon in 2012 is the Legislature. Revenue for the biennium was forecasted at $13.9 billion in September and was expected to remain flat or just slightly lower at the next forecast in November. Beyond that, however, Deckert says a few major votes could have long-term impacts.

The first concerns Oregon’s efforts at health-care transformation and would approve the creation of Coordinated Care Organizations to serve the state’s Medicaid population. The CCOs could alter how health care is delivered in Oregon and potentially save a decent sum of cash. The Legislature is also expected to review and potentially approve the business plan for the state’s health insurance exchange [see Diagnosis Unknown], which might also play a role in curbing health-care costs long-term. Deckert says the Legislature also will likely consider proposals and legislation brought by the Oregon Education Investment Board. Established last spring, the OEIB is charged with creating a new governance system for investing in and delivering public education, which will ultimately have impacts on businesses and the economy here as well.

“Some state in this country is going to have to show that you can govern effectively and still take on tough issues that can have a huge impact on the economy and on businesses,” Deckert says. “We think Oregon can be the state that does that.”

Jon Bell is a Portland-based journalist. His last story was on Mount Hood. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 



 

More Articles

Transportation Fairness Alliance holds demonstration in Pioneer Square

The Latest
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
IMG 3367BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland's cab companies urged city hall for consideration as officials weigh new rules for Uber and other ridesharing companies.


Read more...

The Human Factor

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Matt French opens up South Waterfront.


Read more...

Chronicling Gov. Kitzhaber's march to resignation

The Latest
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
021115-kitzhaber-jekaplan14-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Recapping a wild week featuring plenty of will he or won't he resign drama.


Read more...

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


Read more...

Where do Portland demographics rank among the largest 50 cities in the US?

The Latest
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
thumbpdxinperspectiveBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The Portland in Perspective study, done by the City Budget Office, was released Tuesday.


Read more...

Party Like It’s 1999

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
pets-com-sock-puppetBY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.


Read more...

Labor Pains

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Thinking about starting an internship program? Be careful. Navigating unpaid internships can be tricky.


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