To help Utah business owners and operator make plans for 2017, Bank of Utah recently hosted Economic Forecast events in Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City and Lehi. Dr. Peter Rupert, chair of the Department of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, was the keynote speaker. Here are a few insights from his presentation:

First the good news:

  1. 2017 may be a good year for the stock market.
  2. According to the Real GDP, on average we get two percent richer every year! (Hooray!)
  3. The Federal Open Market Community outlook for economic growth and inflation is optimistic.

On the other hand, Peter said the world is full of “unequality,” a term he coined to describe economic conditions in the US.

  1. Housing values and growth are inconsistent across the country, but Utah’s growth rate is stable.
  2. In the financial sector, household liabilities are at post-recession levels and disposable income is high.
  3. Utah’s income and wages continue to be lower than the national average, but some counties have seen up to 130 percent growth.
  4. Utah’s employment has outpaced the U.S. average, with the highest rates in Provo/Orem.
  5. More communities are adopting a higher minimum wage, though good for low-income earners, this may result in increased firings due to higher employer expectations and fewer people being hired in the service industry.

Insights from economists can be helpful in making budgeting decisions for your business and family, but they aren’t the only tools you can use for making smart choices. It’s also smart to ask more questions and realize no one knows the answers to everything. A person can often get the best results by surrounding themselves with good people and involving them in the decision making. And, if you need further help with business decisions, don’t hesitate to contact Bank of Utah about our flexible financing options, treasury management and personalized business solutions to help your business grow.

We’re hopeful that 2017, with all its “unequalities,” will turn out to be a good one for you.

To review Peter Rupert’s full Power Point presentation, click here: National Economic Overview.