GREENVILLE — The new presidential administration’s effects on the economy in the coming year was the subject of discussion during the Darke County Chamber of Commerce’s 10th annual Groundhog Day Breakfast.
Donn M. Goodman, senior vice president of Atalanta Sosnoff Capital, was the featured speaker at this year’s event.
During his 19-plus years with Atalanta Sosnoff, Donn has been directly responsible for communicating and covering more than 20,000-financial advisors in 10 states with most of the major financial brokerage and consulting organizations.
Goodman said at these types of gatherings, he typically speaks about bringing “Wall Street to Main Street.”
“What I try to do is digest some of the fancy rhetoric that comes from Wall Street and put it in terms that you can somewhat understand,” he said.
Goodman covered a number of economic, technological and social factors that the business community may witness in 2017 and beyond. Overall, he proposed there could be many positive things on the horizon, and is bullish on the stock market.
“I’m willing to put myself out there and say I think the market has a 10-percent type return this year,” he explained. “What will be the fuel is cheaper energy, recovering global economy, deregulation, above a 3-percent [Gross Domestic Product] earning surprise. The headwind could be higher interest rates.”
“There will be volatilities,” he added. “Sometime this year, there’ll be a ‘Black Swan,’ there’ll be a 10-to-15 percent decline. It won’t mean an end to the bull market. The bull market still has legs, even though we’re in the last three innings. The thing that could occur is that people have too-high of expectations that this stuff’s going to get through. Congress puts a lid on it, and the market doesn’t like it for a period of time.”
Goodman believes President Trump’s policies overall will have a positive effect on American business.
“The thing is, the man at the top, whether you like him or not, is a straight shooter and he’s really a businessman,” he said. “You’re going to get much more of a business perspective than you’ve probably have seen in a while.”
“What I think Trump’s administration will do is ‘play hardball, overseas,” Goodman added. “And they’re going to offset it in this country by creating a less-regulatory, more economic expansion environment.
Goodman also expressed a positive outlook on American farm products, a perpetual area of concern in agriculture-dependent Darke County.
“For anybody in agriculture, I think wheat, corn, will continue to go higher. And if they perceive a trade war, you’ll see Eastern Europe and lots of Asian countries start to lock in on futures rates and you might see a spike in commodities from their concern about trade embargoes and trade problems,” he said.
Goodman also offered his thoughts on what he believes will be important technology trends in the near future, including the continued spread of drones and autonomous vehicles, improvements in treatments for cancer, and the growth of solar power.
Responses to Goodman’s thoughts were enthusiastic.
Chamber Chairman Tony Roberts, of Roberts Nationwide, said, “Donn Goodman’s presentation on the 2017 economic forecast was optimistic and relevant for our membership to incorporate into their strategic long-term planning. A portion of the Chamber’s Mission statement focuses on ‘Business and Community Development’ — which we believe contributes to overall economic development in Darke County.”
“When our businesses, manufacturers and agriculture producers are given the tools that they need to succeed in business, we all win. When the economy is good, individuals succeed and have disposable income to support our churches, charitable organizations, restaurants and retail businesses. With the help of our local financial institutions, people buy new cars, trucks, homes and farms, which in turn creates a vibrant economic life in Darke County,” Roberts added.
“Donn Goodman’s presentation provided good information on what to expect in the economy and markets in 2017 and beyond. I enjoyed hearing about the advances in technology coming that will impact individuals and businesses. His topics were very informative and pertinent for Chamber members,” said Second National Bank President John Swallow.
Brethren Retirement Community President and CEO John Warner said, “I really enjoyed Donn’s presentation. He covered much ground from the economy to the market to policy and even technology in such a short period of time. All the while making it interesting, relevant and timely for us. I appreciate the Chamber bringing Donn to Darke County for another successful Chamber Groundhog Day event.”
Darke County Economic Development Director Mike Bowers remarked, “The economic outlook presentation by Donn Goodman was tremendous. In particular, the realization that future technologies advancements in all industries is coming at a rapid pace. This insight is very important for us to hear at a local level because we can be somewhat insulated in Darke County. The effects that it will have for us and especially future generations will be critical for how we look at opportunities and growth in the future.”
The Dayton Area Board of Realtors (DABR) was the event sponsor of the Chamber’s Groundhog Day Breakfast. DABR President Karen O’Grady told the audience there were 452 residential and condominium sales in the county in 2016. The average sale price was $111,243 with a median price of $96,000.
O’Grady said realtors were encouraged by the increase in sales numbers from the previous year.
“Even though the price fluctuations are somewhat lower [than 2015], they do match other strong areas in the market,” she said. “We look forward to working with the Chamber and our elected leaders on important economic development possibilities in this region and other regions. We feel we are stronger working together.”
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