VICA’s 2019 Business Forecast Conference, 2020 Vision Required (Time for Corrective Lenses) was held at the Hilton Universal Hotel on October 25. At this year’s all-day event, much was gleaned from the breakout panels, exhibit booths, economic forecast breakfast and more that was attended by business leaders, economists, academics, etc.
Although Wells Fargo Securities senior economist and director Sarah House began on somewhat of a low note by saying that “the economy is slowing,” cautioning against “shocks on the horizon” (such as $122 billion on Chinese goods’ tariffs), she did also say that right now “fundamentals are in really good shape.”
U.S. Bank’s Private Wealth Management Regional Investment Director A. Kravetz seemed altogether more positive, beginning by saying that:
“I love the California economy. It’s one of the most diverse economies in the world…ranking it at No. 5 in the world, right behind Germany.” She pointed out that California companies stock valuation is double the Standard & Poor 500 and in 2016 its GDP peaked at 4.5 percent growth while downshifting to 3 percent in 2017. This, against the 2 percent increase from the national economy. She also noted the region’s “hot” industrial market and commercial real estate with the ports faring well too.
In addition, Director of the Institute for Applied Economics at Los Angeles County Economic Development County Somjita Mitra made reference to LA’s position as the world’s 19th largest economy. She said: “Our GDP will continue to grow,” (referring to the 2.7 percent increase in the last year and the 4.3 percent unemployment drop). She added that “Anybody who wants a job has a job,” referring to the 2.1 percent increase of personal income.