GREENVILLE — Chairman of the Darke County Chamber of Commerce Tony Roberts greeted the crowd during the 11th Annual Chamber Groundhog Day Breakfast, Friday, in Greenville.
“For the past 10 years, this event has focused on an economic forecast, and the opportunities in the coming year,” he said. “I think we can all agree that 2018 in no different.”
Keynote speaker, Senior Vice President of Atalanta Sosnoff Capital Donn M. Goodman shed some light on this year, and a near-future economic forecast. According to the Chamber, in his 19-plus years with Atalanta Sosnoff, Goodman has been directly responsible for communicating and covering more than 20,000 financial advisers throughout the United States, that serve in major financial brokerages and consulting organizations.
According to Goodman, the country is in one of the longest expansionary market business and economic cycles; currently around 220 months. An expansionary policy is a macroeconomic policy that seeks to expand the money supply, to encourage economic growth or combat inflationary price increases.
“We are somewhere around 10 percent growth in the economy from year over year,” Goodman said. “Unemployment rates hit and stalled right now at 4.1 percent today (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ). The reason we haven’t gotten below 4.1, is every time we get a jobs report, they factor in the people that are now coming out of the participation rate, and going back to work. It is conceivable to me, and our firm, that we see a 3.5 percent print this year, meaning that employment gets to probably the greatest that we’ve had in the history of the United States. As a result, you will see a lot of inflation, as companies are starting to increase wages and give out bonuses.”
In addition, Goodman said the acceleration of the global growth story, where almost all countries in the world are doing well, continues.
“Last year was one of the best years in the history of the world, for all countries everywhere, expanding their economies,” he said.
Another positive impact to the economy, according to Goodman, is the top five firms are investing in the country: Apple, Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems, Alphabet, Inc. (Google) and Oracel Corporation.
“They have about $400 billion sitting offshore,” he said. “With the repatriation, those monies are coming home, and being put into such things as factories. Instead of i Phones manufactured in China, they are going to produce them in the United States.”
Goodman shared a quote from Winston Churchill: “One man with conviction will overwhelm 100 who have only opinions.”
“I think we are seeing that today, certainly in the last couple months,” Goodman said. “You will see a government run very heavily on its own convictions.”
Goodman also spoke about new technologies in healthcare, transportation, retail and agriculture.
Roberts said the chamber appreciated the attendance at the Groundhog Breakfast.
“Everybody in this room could be somewhere else, and they chose to be here,” he said. “When our businesses, manufacturers and agriculture producers are given the tools they need to succeed, we all win. When individuals succeed, they have disposable income to support our churches, charitable organizations and retail businesses. When the economy is good, our residents seek the medical care they need or the help of our local financial institutions. People buy new cars, trucks, homes and farms, which in turn creates a vibrant economic synergy in Darke County.